How The Nominees Are Selected For The Academy Awards

How The Nominees Are Selected For The Academy Awards


The Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars, is one of the most prestigious film awards in the world. Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the nominees and the winners in various categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and more. However, have you ever wondered how the Oscar nominees are chosen? In this article, we will delve into the process of how the Academy chooses its nominees.

Firstly, it is important to understand the structure of the Academy. The Academy is made up of over 9,000 members, all of whom are professionals in the film industry. These members are divided into 17 branches such as actors, directors, cinematographers, and writers. Each branch is responsible for selecting the nominees for their respective categories.

To be a member of the Academy, one needs to have accomplished a certain level of success and recognition in the industry. For example, to be considered for the acting branch, one must have at least three feature film credits as an actor, with at least one in the past five years. Additionally, the member must have been nominated for an Academy Award, an Emmy, or a Screen Actors Guild award.

Now, let us move on to the process of how the nominees are selected. It begins with the studios and production companies campaigning for their films. The companies spend a considerable amount of money on promoting their films and convincing the members of the Academy to watch and consider their movies for nominations. This is done through a variety of methods such as sending out screeners, hosting special screenings, and holding Q&A sessions with the cast and crew.

Oscar winners holding their awards in the photo room at the Annual Academy Awards

Once the members have viewed the eligible films, they can vote for the nominees in their respective categories. The voting is done through a preferential ballot, which means that voters rank the nominees in order of preference. For example, in the Best Picture category, voters would rank the films from first to last.

After the initial round of voting, the results are tallied, and the top contenders in each category are announced as nominees. For categories such as Best Picture, there are usually between five to ten nominees. In some cases, there can be fewer or more than this range, depending on the number of eligible contenders and the preferences of the voters.

After the nominees are announced, a second round of voting takes place to determine the winners. This round follows a similar process as the initial round, where voters rank the nominees in order of preference. The nominees with the highest number of votes in each category are declared the winners.

It is worth noting that the process of selecting the nominees is not without its flaws. Some members may have personal biases or be swayed by the marketing campaigns, leading to certain films or performances being overlooked. Additionally, the Academy has been criticized in the past for not being diverse enough in its nominations and selections. In recent years, steps have been taken to increase diversity in the Academy, such as inviting more members from underrepresented groups and expanding the eligibility criteria.

In conclusion, the process of selecting the Oscar nominees involves the campaigning of the studios and production companies, the viewing and voting by the Academy members, and the announcement of the nominees and winners. While there may be some flaws in the system, it remains one of the most prestigious awards in the film industry and a significant achievement for those who are nominated and awarded.

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