There are 9,487, a new record, to be able to vote this year for the Oscars, the most prestigious award in cinema, which will be delivered on Sunday in Hollywood. Who are they? Where do they come from? How is voting organized?
– Who has the right to vote? –
All Oscar voters are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, located in Los Angeles. They must be “complete” film professionals, from one of the 17 branches of the industry (actors, hairdressers, costume designers, editors, producers, directors, screenwriters, etc.)
All nominees must be co-opted by at least two members of the Academy, with the exception of Oscar nominees and winners who can apply directly.
After studying your file, the final decision rests with the Governing Board of the Academy.
Members of the Academy have long enjoyed “lifetime” voting rights, but since 2016 it has been limited to a ten-year renewable term.
– Who are they ? –
The Academy has long remained discreet on the voter list, although nothing prevents them from making it known.
The Oscars, the most prestigious award in cinema, are presented this Sunday in Hollywood / AFP/Files
In 2016, after years of scathing criticism that its membership composition did not reflect the diversity of society, it said its 6,000 members were 93% white and 76% male. Their average age was 63 years.
The Academy announced, after the doubling of women and members of ethnic minorities for 2020, to breathe new blood into its staff, a commitment that it claims to have fulfilled.
In 2021, 395 new members were invited. 46% were women and 39% from ethnic or cultural minorities.
The proportion of women within the Academy is around 33% (only 25% in 2015).
As for the “underrepresented minorities”, that is, all members who are not white, their number has tripled compared to 2015, reaching 19% of the workforce.
To meet its goals, the Academy has become much more international in its recruitment in recent years.
– How are nominations made? –
Most of the nominees are chosen by members of their professional branch: actors vote for actors, directors for directors, etc.
Certain categories, such as best foreign language film or animated films, are subject to a special committee.
All members of all branches can, however, participate in the vote to nominate the candidates for the best feature film of the year, the supreme Oscar.
– How are the winners chosen? –
Unlike nominations, all voters, regardless of their professional branch, can participate in the vote to designate the winners.
Oscar nominations / AFP
In 22 of the 23 categories, whoever gets the most votes wins.
“Best Feature Film,” the Oscars’ flagship award, is an exception. Since 2009, this category has been governed by a strange and complex “preferential” voting system with several rounds.
Each voter must rank the films in the running (ten this year) in order of preference, but, unless it obtains an absolute majority from the beginning, it is not the work that obtains the highest number of first places that automatically wins.
In each round, the film that has received the first place the fewest times is eliminated and the votes assigned to it are reallocated to the rest of the films, according to the highest “preference” of each list. The process continues until a work crosses the bar of 50% of the votes.
Result of this system: very often, the film that emerges victorious is the one that comes in second or third position in the highest number of votes, and not in the lead.
“The idea of this + alternative + ballot was to reflect the wishes of the largest number of voters. Otherwise, we risked ending up with a movie that 25% of the people loved but the rest couldn’t support,” he explained. Ric Robertson, then in charge of the Oscar Academy, during the 2009 reform.
– The price of the fans –
On Sunday night, a new award will be given to the most popular movie chosen by the public, through Twitter or a specific website.
But it is not an Oscar as such and the voting method is puzzling: each fan could vote for their favorite movie up to 20 times a day.
The Academy hopes with this initiative to attract new audiences and straighten out the audience for a ceremony that regularly loses spectators.