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Gov Awards - About


In 2009 the Board of Governors voted to establish an annual event at which it will present its testimonial awards: the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the Honorary Award. Honorees are selected and announced each summer and presented their awards at a celebratory dinner event. They also are acknowledged at the next Academy Awards ceremony. 

The Governors Awards were established to balance the desire to truly honor worthy individuals and avoid the time limitations that the Oscar telecast imposes on these honors. By creating a separate event for recognizing these outstanding people in the movie industry, we’re ensuring that each honoree will be given their due without compromise.

Selection Process

The Academy’s Board holds a special meeting in June to select Governors Award recipients. We enlist the help of Academy members in recommending honorees. Up to four Governors Awards may be presented in a given Awards year. 

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (Oscar statuette)
Presented to a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (Oscar statuette)
Given to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry by promoting human welfare and contributing to rectifying inequities.

The Honorary Award (Oscar statuette) 
Given for extraordinary lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the motion picture arts and sciences of any discipline, or outstanding service to the Academy.

No more than one Hersholt Award and one Thalberg Award may be presented in a given Awards year. Except in extraordinary circumstances, no competitive Oscar winner may receive an Honorary Award. Governors Awards cannot be voted posthumously, and no current Academy governor is eligible to receive a Governors Award.