So now we all have a basic idea about what the Academy really is and the criteria for getting a nomination. Let’s now find out how a film gets a nomination in the Academy Awards.

[Part 1 of the working of Academy Awards can be read here.]

The Process of Getting a Nomination

The Oscars | Academy Awards
The Oscars | Academy Awards

To get an eligible film a nomination, the producer or distributor must submit a form with all the information that the Academy needs. This form is the Official Screen Credits form. The Academy then collects all of these forms and keeps them in the ” Reminder List Of Eligible Releases”. In the month of January, the Academy mails each member a ballot for nomination and a copy of the “Reminder List”.

To make sure that the categories are fair, only members who work in that same category can vote. For example, only a director can submit nominations for Best Director. If the nomination is for a Foreign Film then things work a little differently. For them, there is a special screening for all members and all members get to choose a nomination. Every country can submit only one Foreign nomination each year.

If you are a member you can nominate five nominees per category, in the order of preference. If you are voting for actors, then you can even decide whether to nominate the actor for a leading role or a supporting role. Perhaps that’s why supporting role nominations tend to often cause outrage. You also normally have a couple of weeks to vote for the nominations. Once the results are in, the Academy tallies them and announces the nominations.

So How Does A Movie Win An Academy Award?

Oscars 90th Annual Academy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA - 04 Mar 2018
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (9446184kg) Guillermo del Toro with cast and crew – Best Picture – ‘The Shape Of Water’, presented by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty 90th Annual Academy Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA – 04 Mar 2018

After the nominations, the Academy again mails the final nomination list to the members. Members have around two weeks to submit their final choices. Pricewaterhouse Coopers then take the list and tabulate in absolute secrecy and hand out the results. However, there are some mistakes sometimes, like the incident that happened at the 2017 Best Picture.

In the early years the Academy Awards, would announce the winners before to its members. Now though, perhaps to make it more interesting, the members are not informed. They too, only find out when the awards are being handed out.

The Bad?

Well, this process does seem very long but the thing is that the films are not judged by critics. They are judged by the film industry. So the Academy Awards is basically by the film industry for the film industry. Here is where the trouble comes in. Perhaps the person winning the award is not winning the award because of their talent. It could be that they win it merely because they have good connections This makes it extremely tough for the real talent to get recognized. Some of the members may also have a prior bias towards a particular film or movie making it even messier.

So there you have it. The entirety of the process that goes behind any movie trying to get that Oscar. If you’d like another article explaining another aspect of the industry, let us know in the comments below.

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