About the Academy Awards

Each January, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to the Academy Awards. Interest and anticipation builds to a fevered pitch leading up to the Oscar telecast in February, when hundreds of millions of movie lovers tune in to watch the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in filmmaking.

The Oscars reward the previous year’s greatest cinema achievements as determined by some of the world’s most accomplished motion picture artists and professionals. The Academy’s roughly 6,000 members vote for the Oscars using secret ballots, which are tabulated by the international auditing firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The auditors maintain absolute secrecy until the moment the show’s presenters open the envelopes and reveal the winners on live television.

And the Oscar Goes To...

Awards are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in up to 25 categories. Members select winners from as many as five nominees in each category, which are determined by members of the relevant Academy branch. (For instance, only film editors may nominate for the Achievement in Film Editing award.) The only exceptions are the Best Picture category, for which nominees are selected by the entire membership, and the Best Foreign Language films, which are nominated by a committee of members drawn from all branches.

In addition to the regular annual awards conferred by the membership, the Board of Governors is empowered to bestow Scientific and Technical Awards, Honorary Awards, Special Achievement Awards and other honors. Learn more about all the awards here.

Broadcast rights to the annual Oscar telecast provide the majority of the revenue for the organization’s rich and varied year-round activities.