"The Academy Awards are the world's most prestigious and well known film awards."



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The Academy Awards got its start when 36 men and women from the motion picture industry decided to start a non-profit organization called AMPAS - the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1927, AMPAS was an honorary membership organization dedicated to the arts and sciences of motion pictures.

The award itself, also known as "the Oscar," is one of the oldest, best known, most famous, influential and prestigious film awards in existence. The very first awards ceremony was held in May of 1929.

Hand in hand with the Oscars is the accounting firm of Pricewaterhouse (now Pricewaterhouse Coopers). This firm has managed the balloting process for the awards since 1935. Since 1941 they've used a proprietary confidential envelope system. This system has become so famous that the phrase "the envelope please" has become synonomous with the ceremony.

The awards qualifications have met with several changes over the years. Before 1934, the awards were based on a previous 17 month qualifying period.

Starting in 1934 the awards were based on openings from the previous calendar year. The films also needed to be at least 40 minutes in length to qualify as feature-length movies.

The television airing of the the Oscars has also moved around quite a bit over the years. Until 1954 the show was presented on Thursday evenings for the most part. From 1955-1958 they were presented on a Wednesday. From 1959-1998 they were presented on a Monday night. And since 1999 they've been presented on Sunday, usually sometime in March.

In 2004 the airing time was made earlier in order to improve the show's ratings. It was also hoped that the show would become more relevant to the awards season.

Even since its inception, the Academy Awards have had a major influence on the film industry. There's simply no getting around it - a nomination or award is a huge boost for any film or actor receiving it.

Due to the sheer 'power' of the award itself, studios have actually tried to manipulate the outcome with expensive marketing campaigns. Naturally the AMPAS has worked hard to resist these attempts in order to maintain the purity of the award.

Another issue for the Oscars is that not all film genres are not given the same voting weight. Especially since the 1980's, formula driven blockbusters have often received the "best picture" nod, while other films have been overlooked merely because they were comedies, science fiction films, or even westerns.

I for one, am a huge fan of the Oscars. I rarely miss it, and when I've had to in the past (due to work scheduling) I've always regretted it.

I'm sure we'd all love to hear what you love or do not love about the Academy Awards. Below as always is a content submission form which you are very welcome to use. Basically, "the floor is yours..."

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