Academy Awards or Oscar: Rules, Category, Eligibility & Key Points

The Oscar is also known as The Academy Awards. It is an annual American awards ceremony honouring achievements in the film industry. The award ceremony is hosted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognise excellence in cinematic achievements. The various category winners are awarded a copy of the statue, officially called the Academy Award of Merit, which was commonly known as “Oscar”.

Design Of Oscar Statuette

The design of the award is based on; a king standing on a reel of film and holding a sword. This design is credited to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) art director Cedric Gibbons. The original statue was designed by Sculptor George Stanley based on the original Statute of Cedric Gibbons.

Firstly, the award or statuettes were made with bronze with 24-karat gold plating but now they are made with gold plated britannium. The design of the statue has remained unchanged still. But in 1945 the height of the statuette was increased. Now the statuette height stands 13.5 Inches (34.3 cm) and weighs 8.5 pounds (3.8kg).

Note: During World War II period the statuette was made with plaster because the unavailability of metal.

Some Key points from the history of the The Academy Awards

  • The first Academy or Oscar Awards ceremony was organised on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and overseen by AMPAS.
  • The Academy award is also known as Academy Award of Merit or Oscar.
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences headquarter located in Beverly Hill, California, United States
  • Only members of AMPAS may nominate and vote for the participants category.
  • The first Academy Awards were invented by Louis B. Mayer and hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks. Louis B. Mayer was the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • The statuette that is given out as the Oscar was designed by Cedric Gibbons, a production designer at MGM, and sculpted by George Stanley. The statue depicts a knight holding a sword and standing on a film reel.
  • The Oscar statuette is made of gold-plated bronze and stands 13.5 inches tall & it weighs about 8.5 pounds.
  • This first award event was attended by around 270 people and each ticket price was $5 each member.
  • The American awards ceremony was first broadcast to radio in 1930 and television in 1953. But this event is now streaming live in more than 200 countries and can be streamed online.
  • The Oscar Awards were first broadcast in the US in 1953 on television and since after 1969 the event broadcasted internationally.
  • The Oscar is the oldest entertainment awards ceremony which is equivalent to the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theatre and the Grammy Awards for music and recording.
  • In this ceremony Red Carpet interviews also became an integral part of this ceremony.
  • The first Academy Award of Merit covered movies released between Aug 1, 1927 to July 31,1928.
  • The first Academy Awards was presented on May 16, 1929.
  • The first Best Picture award was given to the film “Wings,” which was a silent film about World War I aviation.
  • Over the years, the Oscars have been hosted by many famous actors and comedians, including Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, and Ellen DeGeneres.
  • The most 11 Oscars won by a single film was “Ben-Hur” in 1959, “Titanic” in 1997, and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003.
  • The most 14 nominations ever received by a single film, which was “All About Eve” in 1950 and “Titanic” in 1997.

Categories Of Oscar Nominations

Now the Academy Awards Nominated by 24 categories they are:

Categories Of The Academy Award
Best Picture/Movie
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Direction
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Production Design
Best Visual Effects
Best Editing
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Original Song
Best Original Score
Best Costume Design
Best makeup & hairstyling
Best Live Action Short Film
Best Documentry
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Short Documentry
Best Animated Short Film
Best Foreign Language Film
Categories for the Oscar Nominations

Categories Added Over the year’s

The categories and rules for the Oscars have changed by the years. In 1936, the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories were added. In 1940, the Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay categories were added. In 1951, the documentary feature category was added and In 2001, the Best Animated Feature category was added in this award ceremony.


In August 2018, the Academy announced that it would be adding an annual category for “Outstanding achievement in popular film” to debut in the 2019 event. But this was postponed for confusion and criticism.

Eligibility Criteria For Oscar Nominations

For Foreign Language Films

For Foreign language Films the Academy introduced criteria for eligibility, the film must be commercialised or released on commercial theatres of Los Angels Country, The City Of New York, The Bay Areas, Chicago (in ILLINOIS), MIAMI (City In Florida), Atlanta (City In Georgia) between Jan 1 and midnight of December 31 of that year. For Foreign language Film officially submitted by the own country (1 movie per country)

For Short & Documentry Films

For short & Documentry film there have some different criteria for eligibility; the producer of the film submitted the film officialy.

How the Oscar Winners Selected

The Oscar winners are selected by the 10,000 voters of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences all members. The Academy is devided into various branches of film production in each award category of nominations.

Most Iconic Speeches In Oscar History

Some of the most iconic Oscar speeches include Halle Berry’s emotional acceptance speech for Best Actress in 2002, Sally Field’s “You like me!” speech in 1985, and Marlon Brando’s refusal to accept his Best Actor award in 1973.


The Oscars have been criticised for lack of diversity, both in the films that are nominated and in the people who win awards. In recent years, the Academy has made efforts to be more inclusive and diverse, and has invited more women and people of colour to join its membership.

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