To ensure that its Award of Merit remains one of the world’s most exclusive honors, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences regularly reviews its rules regarding Awards eligibility in any given year. During the past year, the Academy revised the language restrictions for nominees in the Foreign Language Film category and increased the number of nominated achievements in the Sound Editing category from three to five.

Nomination ballots were mailed by the Academy on December 26, 2006, and members will have until 5 p.m. on January 13, 2007, to return their ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the international accounting firm. Secrecy is strictly maintained by PricewaterhouseCoopers; the results of nomination balloting will be revealed to the assembled press and the world at 5:30 a.m. on January 23 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Final ballots will be mailed January 31 and members will have 20 days to return them. After ballots are tabulated, only two partners of the accounting firm will know the results until the famous envelopes are opened onstage during the Academy Awards presentation at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® on February 25.

Because the Academy numbers among its members the most gifted and skilled artists and craftsmen in the motion picture world, its Award stands alone as a symbol of superior achievement.

Academy Awards will be presented for the outstanding individual or collective film achievements of 2006 in up to 24 regular categories.

Up to five nominations will be made in most categories, with balloting for these nominations restricted to members of the Academy branch concerned; only actors, for Special Awards instance, determine the nominees in the acting categories. Nominations for awards in the Foreign Language Film category are made by a large screening group composed of members from all branches. Best Picture nominations and final winners in most categories are determined by vote of the entire membership.

In addition to the regular annual awards determined by vote of the membership, the Academy’s Board of Governors is empowered to confer Scientific and Technical Awards, Honorary Awards, Special Achievement Awards and other special honors.

Among these is the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, a bronze bust of the legendary producer, which is given to “a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” It is considered the highest accolade a producer can receive.

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Oscar® statuette, is given to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” The Gordon E. Sawyer Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.” The Thalberg, Hersholt and Sawyer Awards are not necessarily given annually; each is awarded only when, in the opinion of the Board of Governors, a thoroughly deserving recipient emerges.

The Board of Governors confers Scientific and Technical Awards after receiving recommendations from a committee consisting of some of the most eminent scientists and technicians in the industry. These awards recognize outstanding innovations in filmmaking equipment and technique – innovations that have proven themselves over time, not simply in connection with one particular motion picture.

Honorary Awards may be given for outstanding achievements not otherwise recognized within the category structure of the Academy Awards. They may be given for Special Awards extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, for exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences or for outstanding service to the Academy.

They have been awarded, for example, to Sidney Poitier “in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and a human being,” to choreographer Michael Kidd for his lifetime of work, and to writer Ernest Lehman in appreciation of his body of work.

Special Achievement Awards, conferred by the Board of Governors, may be given for achievements that make an exceptional contribution to the motion pictures for which they were created, but for which there is no annual award category. These awards have been given, for example, to Benjamin Burtt Jr. for the creation of the alien creature and robot voices in “Star Wars” (1977) and to John Lasseter for his leadership of the Pixar
team that created the first feature-length computer-animated film, “Toy Story” (1995).

Oscar ®,” “Oscars ®,” “Academy Awards®,” “Academy Award®,” “A.M.P.A.S. ®” and “Oscar Night ®” are the trademarks, and the © Oscar ® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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