You may hear a lot about them during award show season, but who is the Academy? This members-only powerhouse of current and retired industry professionals is the group who decides which of the biggest movies of the year will be recognized at the Oscars.
The glitzy award show is taking place on Sunday, April 25, so here are all the details about the voting process.
First of all, who are the members?
In June 2019, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (full name) sent out 928 invitations for new members to join. After people bashed the lack of diversity during last year’s award show, the group put a stronger emphasis on broadening their scope.
According to a breakdown from the organization, 49 percent of the newly invited members were women and 38 percent were people of color. Being invited doesn’t mean you have to join but it is considered an honor.
People like Gina Rodriguez, Miles Teller, Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer and Tiffany Haddish were among the stars asked to join at the time. Besides an official invite, other members can submit their peers to be considered for membership.
What is their expertise?
There are 17 branches of the Academy that consist of 6,000 total members who vote for the best in the film industry. These branches cover pretty much all aspects of the business. Actors, writers, casting directors, designers, film editors and cinematographers are just a few of the bases that are covered.
How do they vote?
Each member can rank their favorite films of the year online or using a paper ballot during the nomination period. They can only vote within their particular category of expertise (a.k.a. actors nominate actors, editors nominate editors), but all members are “eligible to select the Best Picture nominee,” according to the Academy Awards’ site.
After the nominations are finalized by a third party calculator, voting for the actual winner takes place online. “During finals, all Oscar categories are on the ballot for voting members.”
Best of luck to all the nominees this year! Be sure to tune in to the 93rd Academy Awards on ABC on Sunday, April 25, at 8:00 p.m. ET.