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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a honorary organization of over 6,500 film professionals (as of 2010) founded on May 11, 1927 by the most influential persons in the motion picture industry at the time.



Richard Barthelmess

Jack Holt

Conrad Nagel

Milton Sills

Douglas Fairbanks

Harold Lloyd

Mary Pickford


Cecil B. DeMille

Frank Lloyd

Henry King

Fred Niblo

John M. Stahl

Raoul Walsh


Edwin Loeb

George W. Cohen


Fred Beetson

Charles H. Christie

Sid Grauman

Milton E. Hoffman

Jesse L. Lasky

M.C. Levee

Louis B. Mayer

Joseph M. Schenck

Irving Thalberg

Harry Warner

Jack Warner

Harry Rapf


J. Arthur Ball

Cedric Gibbons

Roy J. Pomeroy


Joseph Farnham

Benjamin Glazer

Jeanie MacPherson

Bess Meredyth

Carey Wilson

Frank E. Woods


Douglas Fairbanks, 1927-1929

William C. DeMille, 1929-1931

M.C. Levee, 1931-1932

Conrad Nagel, 1932-1933

J. Theodore Reed, 1933-1934

Frank Lloyd, 1934-1935

Frank Capra, 1935-1939

Walter Wanger, 1939-1941 and 1941-1945

Bette Davis, 1941 (resigned after two months)

Jean Hersholt, 1945-1949

Charles Brackett, 1949-1955

George Seaton, 1955-1958

George Stevens, 1958-1959

B.B. Kahane, 1959-1960 (died)

Valentine Davies, 1960-1961 (died)

Wendell Corey, 1961-1963

Arthur Freed, 1963-1967

Gregory Peck, 1967-1970

Daniel Taradash, 1970-1973

Walter Mirisch, 1973-1977

Howard W. Koch, 1977-1979

Fay Kanin, 1979-1983

Gene Allen, 1983-1985

Robert Wise, 1985-1988

Richard Kahn, 1988-1989

Karl Malden, 1989-1992

Robert Rehme 1992-1993 and 1997-2001

Arthur Hiller, 1993-1997

Frank Pierson, 2001-2005

Sid Ganis, 2005-2009

Tom Sherak, 2009-present

The academy aims to cooperate on technical research and improvement of methods and equipment; provide a common forum and meeting ground for various film-related crafts; foster cooperation among creative leaders for cultural, educational and technological progress; recognize outstanding achievements in filmmaking; advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures; represent the viewpoint of actual creators of the motion picture; and foster educational activities between the professional community and the public.

The AMPAS is best known for its annual presentation of special awards of merit, called the Academy Awards. The winners are publicly announced at a formal ceremony each spring. One hour of the 1929 awards ceremony was broadcast on the radio, and from 1944 through 1969 the entire ceremony was broadcast. Television broadcasts began in 1953.

The 1st Academy Awards, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. DeMille, were presented on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Tickets cost $5 and more than 250 people attended. Films that had been released between August 1, 1927, and July 31, 1928, were eligible for awards. In some cases nominations were made without reference to a specific film. Unlike later events, the winners had been announced months prior to the ceremony. The 1st Academy Awards ceremony lasted only 15 minutes. This was also the only ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television.

AMPAS corporate management, control and general policies are administered by the Board of Governors which consists of representatives from each of the 15 Academy branches. All branches are represented on the Board by three governors except the Makeup Artist & Hairstylists Branch created in 2006, which has one representative. Governors are elected for three-year terms and may serve up to three consecutive terms before taking a one-year mandatory break.

Officers are elected from among the governors for one-year terms. The elected positions are president, first vice president, two vice presidents, treasurer and secretary. Officers may serve up to four consecutive one-year terms in the same office.

The Board of Governors appoints an executive director to supervise the administrative activities of the Academy. Executive director and his staff of over 200 employees are responsible for Academy's work.

See Administration >>>>

Membership in AMPAS is by invitation of the Board of Governors. A candidate for membership in the Academy is normally sponsored by at least two members of the branch for which the person may qualify. Each proposed member must first receive the favorable endorsement of the appropriate branch executive committee before his or her name is submitted to the Board of Governors for its approval.

Individuals nominated for Academy Awards who are not already members of the Academy are considered for membership without the need for sponsors. The Board of Governors also may invite individuals to become members-at-large and associate members. Members-at-large are those engaged in motion picture production, but for whose craft there is no separate branch. They have all the privileges of branch membership except for representation on the Board.

Associate members are those closely allied to the industry but not actively engaged in motion picture production. They are not represented on the Board and don't vote on Academy Awards.

The entire academy membership participates in voting for the annual awards. In most award categories, a maximum of five entrants are first nominated by the academy members who work in that particular field (that is, actors select actors, directors select directors, and so on). From among these nominees all academy members select the winners by secret ballot.

The most part of Academy's revenue comes from the sale of broadcast rights for the annual Academy Awards presentation. The Academy Awards and Oscar Ceremony have become most profitable and important events of AMPAS.

Officers, 2009-2010

President - Tom Sherak, Executives Branch

First Vice President - Tom Hanks, Actors Branch

Vice President - Kathleen Kennedy, Producers Branch

Vice President - Phil Robinson, Writers Branch

Treasurer - Hawk Koch, Producers Branch

Secretary - John Lasseter, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch

Immediate Past President - Sid Ganis, Public Relations Branch

Executive Director - Bruce Davis

Board of Governors, 2009-2010

Dede Allen, Film Editors Branch

Craig Barron, Visual Effects Branch

Curt Behlmer, Sound Branch

Carl Bell, Short Films & Feature Animation Branch

Annette Bening, Actors Branch

James D. Bissell, Art Directors Branch

Rosemary Brandenburg, Art Directors Branch

James L. Brooks, Writers Branch

Bruce Broughton, Music Branch

Donn Cambern, Film Editors Branch

Martha Coolidge, Directors Branch

Caleb Deschanel, Cinematographers Branch

Richard Edlund, Visual Effects Branch

Leonard Engelman, Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Branch

Rob Epstein, Documentary Branch

Charles Fox, Music Branch

Robert G. Friedman, Public Relations Branch

Sid Ganis, Public Relations Branch

Jim Gianopulos, Executives Branch

Mark Goldblatt, Film Editors Branch

Don Hall, Sound Branch

Arthur Hamilton, Music Branch

Tom Hanks, Actors Branch

Curtis Hanson, Directors Branch

Mark Johnson, Producers Branch

Kathleen Kennedy, Producers Branch

Hawk Koch, Producers Branch

Bill Kroyer, Short Films & Feature Animation Branch

Jeffrey Kurland, Art Directors Branch

John Lasseter, Short Films & Feature Animation Branch

Marvin Levy, Public Relations Branch

Lynne Littman, Documentary Branch

Kevin O'Connell, Sound Branch

Richard Pearce, Documentary Branch

Frank Pierson, Writers Branch

Robert Rehme, Executives Branch

Phil Robinson, Writers Branch

Owen Roizman, Cinematographers Branch

Tom Sherak, Executives Branch

Bill Taylor, Visual Effects Branch

Henry Winkler, Actors Branch

Vilmos Zsigmond, Cinematographers Branch

Edward Zwick, Directors Branch

Academy branches


Art Directors





Film Editors

Makeup Artists & Hairstylists



Public Relations

Short Films and Feature Animation


Visual Effects


The AMPAS' headquarters are at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, between LaPeer and Almont Drives. The seven-story building was designed by Los Angeles architect Maxwell Starkman (1921-2004). It houses Samuel Goldwyn Theater >>>> and a 67-seat screening room.

See also Linwood Dunn Theater >>>>.


Many people claim to have given the name Oscar to the symbolic statuette presented as AMPAS Award. The origin of the name has never been definitively determined. The gold-plated bronze human figure, which is 13.5 inches (34.3 cm) high and weighs 8.5 lb (3.9 kg), was created by American sculptor George Stanley based on sketches made by Cedric Gibbons, motion picture art director.

Oscars are given for best motion picture; performances by male and female actors in both leading and supporting roles; screenplays, both original and adapted from previously produced or published material; achievement in direction; songs and scores composed for films; and foreign-language film.

Other award categories include documentary feature, and documentary short feature; live-action short subject; animated short subject. Excellence in technical disciplines is also recognized, including cinematography, art direction, film editing, sound and sound effects editing, visual effects, costume design, makeup. In addition, special or honorary awards are given for distinguished careers or humanitarian achievement.

. . . .

“Oscar®,” “Oscars®,” “Academy Awards®,” “Academy Award®,” “A.M.P.A.S.®” and “Oscar Night®” are the trademarks, and the ©Oscar® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

. . . .

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Foundation - 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Tel: (310) 247-3000, fax: (310) 859-9619

AMPAS Communications Department - 8949 Wilshire Blvd, 5th Fl, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Tel: (310) 247-3090, fax: (310) 271-3395, email: publicity@oscars.org

Pickford Center - 1313 Vine St, Hollywood, California 90028

Fairbanks Center - 333 S La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, California 90211

New York Office: 111 E 59th St, New York, NY 10022

. . . .

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