Should I care about the oscars?

What are the Oscars?

The Oscars or Academy awards are the biggest movie award festival in the world. Since 1929 it has extended its audience and participants and nowadays more than 9,5 million people follow the ceremony via Livestream.
Since it is so popular and can have such an enormous impact on the career of actors and film crew, let´s take a look at what is behind the selection process and who decides which movie is winning an oscar.

Who founded the Oscars?

The Oscars, or Academy Award origins from the ideas of Louis B. Mayer, Conrad Nagel, and Fred Niblo. In 1927 they wanted to strengthen the movie industry.

What is the Academy of Merit

The Academy is an organization that holds and decides about the Oscars.
Besides this, they have the function of connecting and honoring important people in the movie industry.
It is led by a board of governors consisting of 17 people with various backgrounds in the movie industry. Each governor has her own branch. Each branch rewards a specific Oscar.

An Oscar can have a positive impact on a filmmaker's career. 
Courtesy of Steven Lasry.
An Oscar can have a positive impact on a filmmaker’s career.
Courtesy of Steven Lasry.

How to become a member of the Academy:

To become a member of the Academy one has to be proposed and supported by two members. If the candidate is accepted they have to choose a branch that suits their personal career skills. They can only become a member of one branch. Clint Eastwood for example would have to choose between director or actor.

Why is it called an oscar?

It is not clarified. The Academy called it the Academy Award of Merit but since 1930 the name Oscar is more common. There are several theories about it.

How to submit a movie to the Oscars:

Basically, anyone can submit a film for consideration, as long as it follows the rules of eligibility:

  • Submit it before December 31, 2021
  • Go to submissions.oscars.org and enregister
  • If you want your movie to be streamed in the Academy Screening Room (Netflix for Oscar Movies) you have to pay a fee of 12.500$
  • If your movie has been:
  • In the theatres in Los Angeles for at least 7 days with at least three screenings between 8 A.M and 10 P.M. and
  • Has a feature-length (at least 41 minutes )
  • Is following specific technical formats

Who decided who gets an oscar?

The decision of which movie or actress gets an oscar is a complicated procedure. In general, all the members of the academy can vote and nominate movies for the Oscars.

  • Only members of the academy can vote and ballot, each only in their own branch.
  • The Academy then sends a Reminder List (2022) to all the members.
  • Voting and nomination are secret.
  • A maximum of 5 nominees per category award is eligible.
  • Each branch can make up its own special rules which have to be approved by the Boards of Governors.

How to buy an Oscar?

There is no way to buy an Oscar. The Academy has every recipient sign a document in which she states to sell it back to the Academy for 1$. Even the heirs are bound to this contract and the Academy already won multiple lawsuits against families who tried to sell the Oscars of their passed away recipients.

Oscar Premiere 2022:

This year’s Academy Award Ceremony, also known as the Oscars 2022 takes place on the 27th of March 2022 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Should I care about the Oscars?

The Oscars are a representation of the US Movie industry.
The Oscars are a representation of the US Movie industry.
Courtesy of Roberto Nickson.

Summary of the Academy Awards

To wrap it up, only members of the academy can vote. Members are only people who have been in the movie industry for years and have been honored by not only the academy but also the movie world.
Of April 2020 the Academy States 9,921 members.
The Oscars thereby represent the concentrated opinion of nearly 10.000 filmmakers from diverse movie backgrounds.

If you do believe, that people who take an active role in the movie industry have a good opinion of what makes a great movie then you should agree with the Oscars.
Nevertheless, it shouldn´t be forgotten that the Oscars are not a heliocentric award. They are a rather US-centric award.
Critic rose in the past years because the big part of winners was of a caucasian heritage.

The Oscars represent the American (!) movie industry

As LalaLand won six (!) Oscars in 2017 I was shocked. In my opinion, it has a great visual style and the director of photography (Linus Sandgren) did an amazing job. But in total the movie was a polished nostalgic piece about the golden era of Hollywood. Who voted for this movie? People who have spent their lives and careers in Hollywood.
LalaLand is a sentimental film with a regional background that hit the hearts of filmmakers.
What about a Hindi film about the great era of Bollywood movies? I am pretty sure Hollywood would not be as generous with awards for this movie.
Foreign movies that didn´t screen in an L.A. theatre can only take part in the foreign category. That means one price for the rest of the world!

In summary, yes, take the Oscars as a guideline, but don´t let yourself be fooled by the awards. We are allowed to despise movies that won an Oscar, as well as we can love the ones that didn´t get one.

Besides, we have loved Leonardo Di Caprio over many years, before the Academy descended to grant him an Oscar.

What do you think about the Oscars?
Are you following them live online?

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