From January 11 to 16, voting members of the Academy had to choose their favorites from the entire list of nominees for the 2024 awards
Oscar winners are not chosen at random. In fact, it’s quite a lengthy process. Today was the last day for members to select their official nominees. But how does it work? Where do the nominated films come from? How does Oscar voting work?
If you’re a filmmaker, you can’t just make a film and have it magically nominated for an Oscar. First of all, it has to meet the following criteria:
- Longer than 40 minutes
- Shown in theaters in one of the six qualifying U.S. metro areas:
- Los Angeles County; City of New York [five boroughs]; the Bay Area [counties of San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo and Contra Costa]; Chicago [Cook County, Illinois]; Miami [Miami-Dade County, Florida]; and Atlanta [Fulton County, Georgia].
- The movie is shown for 7 days.
- Premiered within the previous calendar year.
- More technical criteria…
- Shot on 35mm or 70mm film, or 24- or 48- progressive scan.
- Image and sound formats are suitable for commercial Digital Cinema sites.
- 5.1 or 7.1 channels of discrete audio.
- The audio is formatted in conformance with D-Cinema.
Let’s say your film does. Congratulations, you can now move on to the second stage of selection and paperwork. You’ll need to submit an Official Screen Credits form to the Academy. The Academy will then examine all submissions and create a first ballot: the Reminder list of eligible releases.
The Academy has over 10,000 members, 9,500 of whom can vote and nominate films for the Oscars. These members are almost all professionals in the film industry, although there are also positions for executives in marketing and public relations. They are divided into 17 branches according to their specialty: make-up artists nominate films for best make-up, and cinematographers for best cinematography. On the other hand, they can all nominate a film for Best Picture of the Year.
Members will receive the Reminder list at home and choose 5 films in their corresponding branch and another 5 for Best Film. The results are then sent to PricewaterhouseCoopers, an accounting firm. They do the math and come up with 5 nominees in each category and 10 for Best Picture. They had until today to make their choice. The official list of nominees will be made public on January 23.
What’s next? Once the official list has been drawn up, members will receive a new ballot. This time, they’ll have to choose one favorite in all categories, not just their branch. The names of the winning films are then sealed in an envelope and revealed on the day of the ceremony, March 10.
CREDITS: Text by Malena Cortizo A.