Oscar or Academy Awards: Essential Points Ought To Be Known

The Oscar or Oscar or The Academy Award is an annual recognition for outstanding cinematic achievements in the United States film industry. It is hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The winners are selected through voting by members of the academy. Winners are awarded a copy of a statuette, officially called the Academy Award of Merit. The award is more famous by the nickname Oscar.  The Academy awards for film industry is similar to Emmy awards for television, Grammy awards for music  and Tony awards for stage performance. Academy Awards was the first to be instituted and other wards got inspired by this award. 

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History of Academy Awards or the Oscar

The award was first presented on May 16, 1929. The function was arranged in Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and about 270 people only were present. The ceremony lasted for around 15 minutes and fifteen artists, directors and other contributors were awarded statuettes for their performances during the 1927–28 period.

The first broadcasting of Oscar award ceremony took place in 1930. First televised function was in 1953. Presently, the award ceremony is telecasted live in more than 200 countries.  So far 88 ceremonies have been completed with distribution of 3,048 Oscar awards. The 89th award ceremony is being held on 26 February 2017. 

Till the 28th ceremony, foreign language films were honoured with Special Achievement Award. The Best Foreign Language Film category was included in the 29th ceremony. The Best Animated Feature Film category was included in 2002. Since 1973, the Academy Award for Best Picture is announced last. 

Earlier, the list of winners was given to newspapers for publication at 11:00 pm on the night of the function. Since 1941, the practice is discontinued and the Academy is announcing the winners on stage by using sealed cover to keep secrecy till announcement.  
In addition to the Oscar award, the Academy presents seven other annual awards too. 

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Oscar statuette

The Academy Award of Merit is more popularly known as the Oscar statuette. Naming of the trophy as Oscar is disputed. Even then, the trophy was officially dubbed the "Oscar" in 1939 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

It is made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base. The statuette is 13.5 in (34.3 cm) tall and weighs 8.5 lb (3.856 kg).  It depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The Academy had five branches initially. They are Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians. The five spokes represent these branches. 

Sculptor George Stanley sculpted the statuette based on the design by Cedric Gibbons. Mexican actor Emilio "El Indio" Fernández is said to be the model for the statuette.  The initial statuette was gold-plated solid bronze, later on replaced with britannia metal. The only modification made to the Oscar since its creation is a minor streamlining of the base. C.W. Shumway & Sons Foundry in Batavia, Illinois casted the  original Oscar mold  in 1928. From 1983 to 2015 Oscars were made in Chicago by R.S. Owens & Company. Approximately 50 statuettes are made every year.  In 2016, the Academy handed over manufacturing duties to Rock Tavern, New York,  to manufacture statuettes with bronze as the core metal, which then will be gold plated. 

Oscar, Academy Award 3

Nomination and voting process for Oscars

The voting process to gain Oscar nomination is a long process that involves approximately 6000 voting members, numerous films, actors, actresses, directors and other film professionals. 

In order to submit a film for nomination, a movie's producer or distributor must sign and submit an Official Screen Credits (OSC) form in early December. The film must meet the prescribed eligibility criterion like it must be over 40 minutes in length; must be publicly screened for paid admission, premiere must be in theatre and  must screen for at least seven straight days. 
The Oscar voting process is carried out by the famous accounting team at PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm sends the ballots to voting members. They can select up to five films following their hearts. Once collected back, the firm counts the votes and those nominations that collect minimum required votes become official nominations. Normally, in each category there will be five official nominations. 

After the official nominations are decided, the whole Academy gets to vote on each category.  Each member has one vote per category. The members are discouraged from voting, if they do not understand the category or have not gone through all nominated films. The film or actor or professional with the most votes becomes winner. 

How can I become a voting member of the Academy?

In order to become a voting member, a film professional must have "achieved distinction in the motion picture arts and sciences" apart from having minimum stipulated screen credits stipulated for their related field. Two or more current members can sponsor a new candidate which then will have to be approved by the Board of Governors. Those who were nominated for or won an Oscar the previous year and are not currently a member becomes members automatically. Once inducted into the Academy, an individual can belong to only one branch.


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Oscar or Academy Awards: Essential Points Ought To Be Known
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Oscar or Academy Awards: Essential Points Ought To Be Known
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The Oscar or Oscar or The Academy Award is an annual recognition for excellent cinematic achievements, which is popularly known as the Oscar statuette
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