Rule One: Awards Definitions

  1. Academy Awards of Merit shall be given annually to honor outstanding achievements in theatrically released feature-length motion pictures, and to honor other achievements as provided for in these rules and approved by the Board of Governors.
  2. Awards shall be conferred at an annual Awards ceremony.
  3. Awards of Merit in the form of the gold statuette trophy of the Academy (Oscar) shall be conferred annually for the following achievements:

    ACTING: Performance by an actor in a leading role.
    Performance by an actor in a supporting role.
    Performance by an actress in a leading role.
    Performance by an actress in a supporting role.
    ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Best animated feature film of the year.*
    CINEMATOGRAPHY: Achievement in cinematography.
    COSTUME DESIGN: Achievement in costume design.
    DIRECTING: Achievement in directing.
    DOCUMENTARY: For each of two classifications:
    a.  Best documentary feature.
    b.  Best documentary short subject.
    FILM EDITING: Achievement in film editing.
    FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Best foreign language film of the year.
    MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Achievement in makeup and hairstyling.
    MUSIC: For achievements in music written for motion pictures:
    a.  Original score.*
    b.  Original song.*
    c.  Original musical.*
    BEST PICTURE: Best motion picture of the year.
    PRODUCTION DESIGN:

    Achievement in production design. (The Academy statuette shall be given also for the set decoration on the picture that wins the Production Design award.)

    SHORT FILM: For each of two classifications:
    a.  Best animated short film.
    b.  Best live action short film.
    SOUND EDITING: Achievement in sound editing.
    SOUND MIXING: Achievement in sound mixing.
    VISUAL EFFECTS: Achievement in visual effects.
    WRITING: For each of two classifications:
    a.  Adapted screenplay.
    b.  Original screenplay.


    * May not be given every year.  See special rules for this category for conditions of presentation.
  4. The following Governors Awards shall be given at such times as in the judgment of the Board of Governors there are deserving recipients, but are not necessarily given each year:

    1. IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD (Thalberg Head).  This award shall be given to a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.  (See Rule Twenty-four.)
    2. JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD (Statuette).  This award shall be given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.  (See Rule Twenty-four.)
    3. THE HONORARY AWARD (Statuette).  This award shall be given to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.  (See Rule Twenty-four.)
  5. The following Special Awards shall be given at such times as in the judgment of the Board of Governors there are deserving recipients, but are not necessarily given each year:

    1. SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Statuette).  (See Rule Twenty-five.)
    2. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL AWARDS.  (See Rule Eighteen.)
    3. GORDON E. SAWYER AWARD (Statuette).  (See Rule Twenty-six.)
    4. JOHN A. BONNER MEDAL OF COMMENDATION (Medallion).  (See Rule Twenty-seven.)
    5. AWARD OF COMMENDATION (Special Plaque).  (See Rule Twenty-seven.)
    6. OTHER AWARDS shall be given at such times as in the judgment of the Board of Governors there is a deserving recipient, but not necessarily each year.  They shall be in such form as the Board of Governors may decide.