You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Who votes for the Academy Awards?

It’s still a mystery to most people — maybe even some members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. How does the Oscar voting process work?

Continue reading it below

Like this: The 6,000 or so members of the Academy nominate films only in their own craft areas: actors nominate actors, cinematographers nominate cinematographers, and so forth. Everyone gets to nominate five films for best picture, ranked in order of preference, and any film that’s listed in the top spot on five percent of the ballots or more is automatically in the race. (Thus there can only be 10 nominees at most. This year, only nine hit the five percent bar.) Special rules involving select committees apply for certain categories such as documentary shorts and features and foreign language films.

Come voting time, everyone gets to vote on everything, and the Academy urges members to see as many films as possible. Screeners are sent out, screenings are held, and an honor system prevails. After switching from mailed ballots to online voting last year, Oscar brass have instituted a system in which a message is sent to a member’s cellphone before voting can commence. This is to guard against the rumored practice of Academy members giving their ballots to their grandchildren or — if some stories can be believed — to their gardeners.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of