Oscar Awards

Context : Three Indian movies have made it to various lists in the Oscar nominations announced Tuesday evening — All That Breathes in the Documentary Feature Film category, The Elephant Whisperers in the Best Documentary Short Film category, and ‘Naatu Naatu’ from RRR in the Original Song category.

About Oscar Awards

  • The Academy Awards, or “Oscars recognize excellence in cinematic achievements in the United States film industry as assessed by the Academy’s voting membership.
  • Colloquially known as Oscars, the Academy Awards, given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, are the top-tier awards when it comes to films. Although there is no monetary reward, winning the most sought-after Oscar statuette gives the winner what is called Oscar’s Bump.
  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up of more than 9,000 motion picture professionals. Established in 1927, it currently has a stated aim of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures.
  • In order to be eligible, a film has to be exhibited in a theatre for at least a week in Los Angeles. The exceptions to this are foreign-language movies, which are submitted by their country of origin and need not be featured in the US. The documentaries and short films are officially submitted by their producers, whereas the music category needs the artiste to submit a form to participate.
  • The 1st Academy Awards were held in 1929
  • Indian documentary films All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers have both secured nominations in the Best Documentary Feature Film and the Best Documentary Short Film categories, respectively.
  •  SS Rajamouli’s RRR has secured one nomination in the Best Original Song category for “Naatu Naatu.” RRR did not receive any other nominations.

Oscar Nomination Process

  • Oscar nominations, conducted using both paper and online ballots, are selected by members of a particular branch voting for artistes from their own category. For instance, only directors can nominate directors, actors can nominate actors, and so on.
  • However, there is an exception: Best Picture. When it comes to this category, every Academy member gets to choose nominees. Members submit a list of 5 to 10 entries for this category’s nominations only. For the rest, they submit a maximum of five entries.
  • To submit potential nominees, a preferential voting system has been put into place. Members are required to rank their entries in order of preference. The final nomination list is revealed based on how many first-preference votes a film receives. If an entry wins more than 50 per cent, it earns a nomination. But that rarely happens. Then, the second-preference votes are counted, then the third-preference, and so on.
  • The whole process is conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big 4 accounting firms.
  • Once the nominations are in, all the categories become open for the Academy members and they can vote across categories. Until the envelopes are opened during the ceremony, only two PricewaterhouseCoopers partners know about the winners.


  • The credit for the design of the award statue goes to Cedric Gibbons, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer art director. Earlier, it was cast in bronze with gold plating and later, was made of plastic because of the shortage of metal during World War II. Currently, the statues are made of gold-plated britannium, which stands 13.5 inches and weighs 3.8 kg.

Indians who have won the Oscars

Recipients  Category  Year 
Bhanu Athaiya Best Costume Design 1982 
Satyajit Ray Honorary Award 1992 
Resul Pookutty Best Sound Mixing 2009 
Gulzar Best Original Song 2009 
A R Rahman Best Original Score and Best Original Song 2009 

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