For the first time in Academy Awards history, fans can bestow an Oscar on their favorite film. US Film Academy Vice President Meryl Johnson said Monday the vote would give fans the opportunity “to participate in the show in real time, to form a community and be part of the experience like never before.” Voting started on Monday via Twitter and will close on March 3rd. The audience award will then be announced on March 27th during the Oscars.
Winners will be there live in LA
Using the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite, fans can nominate their personal favorite film of the year. The favorite does not have to be nominated for an Oscar. The selected film only has to have been regularly shown in American cinemas in the calendar year 2021. The same rules also apply to the official Oscars, which are chosen by the jury of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Film fans who are not on Twitter can also vote on a website. However, only citizens of the United States can vote through the website. The homepage is not available in other countries.
To give fans an incentive to tweet, AMPAS has launched a competition. Three winners will be drawn from all those who voted, who will be able to attend the Oscar ceremony live on March 27 in Los Angeles – and then hand over the prize to the winner of the voting on stage.
Best moment in film history
In addition to the audience Oscar for 2021, AMPAS is also looking for the most beautiful moment in film history (“Most Cheer-Worthy Movie Moment Ever”) via Twitter. So not only films from the year 2021 may be mentioned here. There is also a raffle here. The winners can go to the cinema for free for a year or use a streaming service of their choice free of charge.
The ratings for the live broadcast of the Oscars have been falling steadily for years. In the years from 2014 to 2020, viewership fell from 43.7 million to 23.6 million. According to the media research company Nielsen, only 9.85 million people tuned in in 2021, at a ceremony that was slimmed down due to corona regulations.
Measures against audience loss
Many observers blame the fact that films that attract the public are rarely nominated in the important categories as the reason for the falling ratings. The category “Best Film” has therefore been expanded more and more, from the five contenders that had prevailed for decades to up to ten. Ten films were required this year.
As early as 2018, AMPAS wanted to introduce a new category for “popular films”. Since the Academy did not give any clear rules for this, it caused irritation in the public. Without giving reasons, AMPAS withdrew the category.
The 94th Academy Awards will take place on March 27 in Los Angeles. The Western “The Power of the Dog” is the big favorite with twelve nominations.