The Academy Awards (the "Oscars") are a yearly award festival for Hollywood movies, given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually in California since 1929. The shows have been held since 1929.
The first awards were presented at a private dinner with an audience of less than 250. Subsequently the show has been broadcast to the public, since 1953 by television (and previously by radio). For the first decade the show's results were given to newspapers for publication at 11 p.m. at the night of the awards; this method was ruined when the Los Angeles Times announced the winners far too early, and the results were available to those arriving to the show, and, as a result, the Academy adopted the sealed envelope method, which it still uses today. The show was broadcast internationally starting in 1969, and currently has viewers from more than 100 countries. Since 2002, the awards have been broadcast from the Kodak Theatre.
Today, according to Rules 2 and 3 of the official Academy Awards Rules, a film must open in the previous calendar year, from midnight at the start of January 1 to midnight at the end of December 31, in Los Angeles County, California, to qualify. Rule 2 states that a film must be "feature-length", defined as a minimum of 40 minutes, except for short subject awards and it must exist either on a 35 mm or 70 mm film print or on 24 fps or 48 fps progressive scan digital film print with native resolution not less than 1280x720.
The major awards are given out at a live televised ceremony, most commonly in February or March following the relevant calendar year, and six weeks after the announcement of the nominees. Many hollywood elites attend, men dressed in tuxedos and the women dressed in expensive evening gown's. The Awards show was first televised on NBC in 1953, it is the only awards ceremony televised live across the United States excluding Alaska and Hawaii; the Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys are broadcast live in the East Coast, but they are on tape delay in the West Coast.
The Academy Awards have often been criticized for being overly liberal. Many celebrities make political statements in their acceptance speeches. Studios also lobby heavily for their films to be considered, leading to the complaint that nominations and awards may be largely a result of this lobbying rather than the quality of the material.
Academy Award of Merit
Awards are presented to individuals or collective efforts in up to 25 different categories, with up to five nominations per category; perhaps the most famous categories being best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress, and best picture.
- Best Picture: 1928 to present
- Best Director: 1928 to present
- Best Actor: 1928 to present
- Best Actress: 1928 to present
- Best Supporting Actor: 1936 to present
- Best Supporting Actress: 1936 to present
- Best Original Screenplay: 1940 to present
- Best Adapted Screenplay: 1928 to present
- Best Animated Feature: 2001 to present
- Best Art Direction: 1928 to present (also called Interior, Set Decoration, or production design)
- Best Cinematography: 1928 to present
- Best Costume Design: 1948 to present
- Best Documentary Feature: 1943 to present
- Best Documentary Short Subject: 1941 to present
- Best Film Editing: 1935 to present
- Best Foreign Language Film: 1947 to present
- Best Makeup: 1981 to present
- Best Original Song: 1934 to present
- Best Original Score: 1934 to present
- Best Original Musical: 2000 to present
- Best Animated Short Film: 1931 to present
- Best Live Action Short Film: 1931 to present
- Best Sound Mixing: 1930 to present
- Best Sound Editing: 1963 to present
- Best Visual Effects: 1939 to present
- Best Assistant Director: 1933 to 1937
- Best Dance Direction: 1935 to 1937
- Best Engineering Effects: 1928 only
- Best Score—Adaptation or Treatment:
- Best Original Musical or Comedy Score: 1995 to 1999
- Best Short Film—Color: 1936 and 1937
- Best Short Film—Live Action—2 Reels: 1936 to 1956
- Best Short Film—Novelty: 1932 to 1935
- Best Original Story: 1928 to 1956
- Best Unique and Artistic Quality of Production: 1928 only
The newest awards to be added to the list of available awards from the Academy are the awards for:
- Best Animated Feature: added in 2001
- Best Original Musical: added in 2000
- Best Makeup: added in 1981
The Board of Governors meets each year and considers other new categories. To date, the following proposed awards have not been approved:
- Best Casting: rejected in 1999
- Best Stunt Coordination: rejected in 1999; rejected in 2005
- Best Title Design: rejected in 1999
These awards are voted on by special committees, rather than by the Academy membership as a whole, but the actor/actress voted to receive the special award can turn down the offer.
- Current Awards
- Academy Honorary Award: 1928 to present
- Academy Special Achievement Award:
- Academy Award, Scientific or Technical: 1931 to present (at three levels of awards)
- The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award: 1938 to present
- The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:
- Gordon E. Sawyer Award:
Retired Special Awards
- Academy Juvenile Award: 1934 to 1960
- About the Academy Awards (English) (HTML). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- Notably Milk, a nominee for best picture at the 81st Academy Awards
- About the Academy Awards (page 2) (English) (HTML). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- History of the Academy Awards (English) (HTML). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- ABC Pot Calls Kettle Black: Oscars Too Political?