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At Oscar nominees luncheon, a pitch for brevity

Regina King, left, and Mahershala Ali attend the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 4, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Winners at this year's Oscars will need to be quick, both in their walks to the stage and their acceptance speeches.

Producers told nominees for the 91st annual Academy Awards that they will have 90 seconds from the time their name is called until when their speech will need to be a concluded. The dash is needed to keep the Feb. 24 ceremony to three hours, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey told this year's class of nominees Monday at a private luncheon to honor them.

Bailey encouraged winners to hurry to the stage to show how much they want it. He told nominees "to say something memorable to everyone watching from home , not just those in the room."

He did not address the lack of a host for this year's ceremony, which will be the first in 30 years to not have an emcee.

Attendees included best actress nominees Glenn Close and Lady Gaga, director Spike Lee, actors Mahershala Ali and Rami Malek and many more.

After Bailey's remarks, the room was suddenly abuzz again as many ignored their salads and salmon and instead chose to mingle some more. Lady Gaga at one point made her way to Cooper's table, where she ran into her fellow best actress nominee Yalitza Aparicio. At a table close by "Roma" director Alfonso Cuaron had a private conversation with "Green Book" director Peter Farrelly.

The luncheon is a chance for nominees to get to know one another ahead of the Oscars ceremony. One of the trickiest feats to coordinate is getting all the mingling nominees to actually take their seats.

With only one minute to go, Regina King, Amy Adams and Richard E. Grant stayed deep in conversation while Marvel chief Kevin Feige snuck in a word with Bradley Cooper. The academy joked about the problem on Twitter, writing: "We've reached the part of the #OscarsLunch where the announcer asks nominees to take their seats and...the nominees just continue to mingle and have amazing conversations. We get it."

The event often creates a fascinating mix of film stars and newcomers. Ron Stallworth, whose story became the basis for "BlacKkKlansman," headed straight to the bar when he entered the venue and said being there was "crazy." He was seated at a table with director Spike Lee, who brought his story to the big screen and earned six Oscar nominations, including for best picture and best director.

"RBG" director Julie Cohen stopped to say hello to "A Star is Born" nominee Sam Elliott, while Bradley Cooper said hi to the filmmakers of the nominated documentary "Minding the Gap."

Before the luncheon started, Close, "Free Solo" climber Alex Honnold and director Phil Lord spoke in a circle for about 20 minutes as other guests, including best original song nominee Diane Warren and actor Chris O'Dowd, entered the gathering at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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