Oscars – Academy Awards

The Academy Awards are awarded every year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) also name is the Oscars. The 2018 Oscars ceremony is the 90th Academy Awards will host by Jimmy Kimmel.  There are currently 24 awards that are given out at each artistic and technical merit ceremony. There is a voting process within the Academy that determines who the winner is in each category. The golden statue that the winners receive is called the Academy Award of Merit but it is nicknamed Oscar which is why the ceremony is commonly referred to as the Oscars. This statue was designed by George Stanley and the same design has been used since the first ceremony which was held in 1929 and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.


The ceremony was first shown on television in 1953, although it had been broadcast on the radio since 1930. Today it is viewed in more than two hundred countries all around the world and can also be streamed live online. It is one of the oldest awards ceremonies in the world and has also been the inspiration for a number of other awards. This includes some other famous ceremonies such as the Emmy Awards and the Grammy Awards.

The Academy Awards that were held in 2017 were the 89th Awards. Including the awards that were given at this ceremony, a total of 3048 Oscars have been awarded since the time that the Awards began.


The first Academy Awards were held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in May 1929 and it was a private dinner. Only 270 people were invited and they had to purchase a ticket for $5. The ceremony only lasted for fifteen minutes and a total of fifteen awards were presented. All the winners received an Oscar statuette.

The media were aware of the winners three months before the ceremony took place. From 1930 this changed so that they only received the results for publication at 11:00 pm on the night that the awards took place. In 1940 the Los Angeles Time published the names of the winners before the ceremony had taken place. This has meant that since 1941 all the winning names are placed into a sealed envelope which is opened by the person presenting the award.


The first winner of an Academy Award was Emil Jannings who received Best Actor for The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command. He was given his award before the ceremony as he had to return to Europe. When the awards first began the Best Actor and Actress award were given for all films that they had starred in during the qualifying period. This changed after the fourth ceremony when the awards were given for a specific performance. The eligibility period was two years for the first six ceremonies before it changed to one year.

The award for Best Foreign Language Film was introduced in 1957 which was the 29th ceremony. Before this time they had been included in the Special Achievement Award category.

The last new award to be introduced was the Best Animated Feature. This was first presented at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002.

There are a number of traditions that are associated with the Oscars that still take place today. The award for Best Actor has always been presented by an actress, with an actor presenting the Best Actress award. The award for Best Picture is always the last award to be presented and this has been the case since 1973.

Oscar Statuette

There are nine honorary awards which can be granted by the Academy. These awards are non competitive and not all of them will be awarded every year. The winners of these awards will not always receive an Oscar statuette, although there are some exceptions to this rule.

Academy Award of Merit

All winners of awards that are considered to be Academy Awards Of Merit will be presented with an Oscar statuette. The statue if made of bronze and is gold plated. It weighs 8.5 lb and is 13.5 inches tall. The statue is made in the Art Deco style and portrays a knight holding a sword. The knight is standing on a reel of film with five spokes which represent actors, writers, directors, producers and technicians. These were the five original branches of the Academy.

Cedric Gibbons designed the Oscar statuette and it was then sculpted by George Stanley. The Mexican actor Emilio Fernandez is widely thought to have been the model for the statuette. The Oscars have always been made from metal apart from three years during World War Two when they were made from plaster due to the shortage of metal. When the war was over the winners that had received a plaster award were able to swap them for one that was made on metal. Today fifty statues are ordered for each ceremony and these take approximately three months to make.


There are two main stories regarding how the statues came to be nicknamed Oscar although it is not known which story, if any, is actually true. Bette Davis was a president of the Academy and her biography claims that the statue was named by her in honor of her husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. Another story credits Margaret Herrick, the Executive Secretary of the Academy, with claiming that the statue reminded her of her cousin Oscar Pierce and that the name just stuck. One of the earliest references to the name Oscar was made by Walt Disney when he thanked the Academy for his Oscar in his acceptance speech. The statue was officially named Oscar by the Academy in 1939.

Current categories

Best Picture: since 1928

Best Director: since 1928

Best Actor in a Leading Role: since 1928

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: since 1936

Best Actress in a Leading Role: since 1928

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: since 1936

Best Animated Feature: since 2001

Best Animated Short Film: since 1931

Best Cinematography: since 1928

Best Costume Design: since 1948

Best Documentary Feature: since 1943

Best Documentary Short Subject: since 1941

Best Film Editing: since 1934

Best Foreign Language Film: since 1947

Best Live Action Short Film: since 1931

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: since 1981

Best Original Score: since 1934

Best Original Song: since 1934

Best Production Design: since 1928

Best Sound Editing: since 1963

Best Sound Mixing: since 1930

Best Visual Effects: since 1939

Best Adapted Screenplay: since 1928

Best Original Screenplay: since 1940

Awards Ceremonies

The Academy Awards are the culmination of the films award season. The season will usually begin in November and ends in late February or early March, depending on when the Oscars is held. Awards at the ceremony will be granted for films that were released in the previous calendar year. The announcement of the nominations is only made six weeks before the ceremony takes place.

The Oscars is known as much for its fashion and glamour as it is for the awards. While men will commonly wear tuxedos and black tie clothing, women will appear in creations by some of the most famous designers in the world. Attendees that arrive at the event will have to walk along the red carpet in order to get to the venue.

Oscars 2018 live air on ABC TV.

The Academy Awards are broadcast live across all time zones in the United States and they are the only major awards ceremony to do this. They also broadcast live in Canada and the United Kingdom. In countries where the time difference makes it difficult to watch live, catch-up TV services are often used to watch the ceremony after it has taken place.

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