Nomination ballots for the 84th annual Academy Awards were mailed Wednesday to the 5,783 voting members of the academy (that is 28 more than last year). The various ballots cover 15 of the 24 competitive categories; the others require attendance at screenings and/or presentations.
All Academy members can pick up to five films for Best Picture and also nominate those races covered by their respective branches. The Best Picture nominees will be determined by a new system of tabulation. Nominees in the other races will be arrived at via the traditional system of preferential ballot that winnows down the pool to a final five.
While the Oscars celebrate the achievements of individuals, only the acting branch is required to specify the names and films of the performers that merit nominations. They must also designate whether they consider the performance to be lead or supporting. Otherwise, members simply fill in the names of the films and the eventual nominees will be matched up with those titles.
Voters have until 5 p.m. (PST) on Friday, Jan. 13 to return them to PricewaterhouseCoopers, that well-known "independent accounting firm," which will tally the ballots.
Nominations in all 24 races will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 5:30 a.m. (PST) at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters.
Final ballots will be mailed on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and the winners of all two dozen competitive awards will be revealed during the Oscars telecast on Sunday, Feb. 26.