2023 Oscar nominations: 10 Academy Awards with special rules

For the fifth year running, the academy will release the shortlists in 10 categories at the same time (December 21), rather than doling them out piecemeal as has been the tradition. Seven of these — Documentary Feature, International Feature, Makeup & Hairstyling, Visual Effects, and the three Shorts (Animated, Documentary, Live-Action) — have been part of this process for decades. Three others — Best Original Score, Best Original Song and Best Sound — began using this multi-stage method more recently.

As detailed below, the nominees in these 10 categories at the Academy Awards will be determined by a second round of voting in the coming days. In addition, the voting for Best Animated Feature is ongoing.

Balloting for nominations in the 13 categories at the Oscars with conventional rules will begin on January 12 and run for just six days. The nominations in all 23  competitive categories will be announced on January 24. The 95th Academy Awards are Sunday, March 12.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Music Branch
All members of the music branch can take part in the voting process. After watching the films that are eligible for the score award and clips of the original songs as they are presented in their pictures, members will use a preferential ballot to list their top choices. The resulting short lists of 15 contenders in each category will then be subject to a second vote, also by preferential ballot, which will produce the five nominees for each award.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Documentary Branch
Voting on this award is done in two stages. First, branch members who volunteered to be on the screening committee watched the documentary shorts submitted. Members scored each film from 6 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and the 15 highest ranked above 7.5 go on to the second stage. All members of the branch will be invited to screenings of these 15 semi-finalists and a preferential ballot will determine the five nominees.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT, BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
Short Films and Feature Animation Branch
Voting on these two awards is done in two stages. First, branch members who volunteer to be on the screening committees watch the animated and live-action shorts submitted. Members score each film from 6 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and the 15 highest ranked above 7.5 go on to the second stage. All members of the branch are invited to screenings of these 15 semi-finalists and a preferential ballot will determine the five nominees.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Documentary Branch
Each branch member receives DVD screeners of the entries and is assigned to watch one-fifth of these but is encouraged to view as many of the films as they can. Members list their top 15 picks on a preferential ballot and those results are compiled to produce a shortlist of 15 contenders. All members are encouraged to watch those films on this short list that they have not yet seen and cast preferential ballots with their five choices that will, in turn, determine the five nominees.

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BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Makeup and Hairstyling Branch
Nominations are determined in two stages. First, upwards of 15 members of the branch who attend special screenings cast preferential ballots with the top 10 vote-getters moving on to the second stage. Those members from the first stage and any other members who either attend screenings of excerpts from these semi-finalists or attest that they have seen them cast preferential ballots and the top five films are nominated.

BEST SOUND
Sound Branch
Nominations are determined in two stages. All members of the branch determine the 10 semi-finalists and the five nominees using a system of preferential voting.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual Effects Branch
The executive committee of the branch determines first the 20 films on the long list and then the 10 semi-finalists. All members of the branch are invited to a screening of excerpts from these 10 films at which potential nominees may discuss their work. Ballots are counted using a system of re-weighted range voting to determine the five nominees.

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Voting on this award is restricted to academy members from any branch who volunteer to be on the screening committee. They rank the films they watch and their top 15 vote-getters will made it to the next round. These 15 semi-finalists will be available online. Those members who can attest to seeing all the semi-finalists can vote for the final five nominees. The entire academy membership will get screeners of the five nominated films and can vote for the winner.

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