Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ( AMPAS ) is a voluntary organization that is best known for awarding the Academy Awards (" Oscars "). The real purpose of the academy is to promote progress in the film industry . This is done on the one hand by supporting research as well as promoting cultural, educational and technological progress. The Academy's field of activity does not include economic, labor or political matters.


Douglas Fairbanks (1921)

The academy was founded on May 4, 1927 as a non-profit association. There were 36 founding members, including many studio owners and well-known Hollywood personalities of the 1920s. The idea of ​​founding the academy first came from Louis B. Mayer , who was then the studio boss of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The academy's first president was Douglas Fairbanks .

From its inception until 1946, the Academy was located in a building on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. In December 1975 the Academy moved to new premises on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills . For the first time in the history of the academy, the directory of filmmakers, the Margaret Herrick Library, the Samuel Goldwyn Theater and the administrative offices were all under one roof. However, it turned out within a very short time that the premises were becoming too small due to the rapid growth of the library and the film archive.

In 1988, a 55-year lease was signed with the City of Beverly Hills to convert the Waterworks building in La Cienega Park. This building was also known as the Center for Motion Picture Study in the following years . In honor of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, the section of the building that houses the Herrick Library has been renamed the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study and the building on Vine Street has been renamed the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study .

After the announcement of the Oscar nominations in 2016 , the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences faced increasing criticism - all nominations in the actor categories had received white actors, as in the previous year, although black actors such as Idris Elba ( Beasts of No Nation ) , Michael B. Jordan ( Creed - Rocky's Legacy ), and Will Smith ( Shattering Truth ) . Smith's wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and honorary award winner Spike Lee then publicly criticized this lack of ethnic diversity and announced that they would not appear at the Academy Awards. The Academy's board of directors, under African American President Cheryl Boone Isaacs , then voted for new rules to double the number of women and minorities by 2020. From 2016, lifelong voting rights for new members will be limited to ten years. It should only be renewed if the member continues to be active in the film business. Lifelong voting rights come into force after three 10-year periods or after an Oscar nomination. Furthermore, the Board of Governors is to be increased by three places and drawn from a more diverse pool for the annual appointment of new members.

At the end of June 2017, a total of 774 new members were appointed, more than ever before. According to the AMPAS, 39 percent of them were women. This increased the proportion of women to 28 percent and the proportion of non-white members to 13 percent. The new academy members include Adam Driver and Gal Gadot , among others , Lucas Hedges , Barry Jenkins , Ruth Negga and Justin Timberlake , who were nominated in 2017 . The Germans Fatih Akin and Daniel Brühl , the Austrians Jessica Hausner and Monika Willi and the Swiss Claude Barras , Giacun Caduff , Corinna Glaus , Max Karli , Michel Merkt and Timo von Gunten were also included .

In 2020, 819 new members were invited. According to the association, 45 percent of the invitations went to women and over a third to under-represented ethnic groups. Were invited among other Awkwafina , Zendaya , Constance Wu , Ana de Armas , Zazie Beetz , Cynthia Erivo and Carlo Chatrian .


You can only become a member of the Academy by invitation of the so-called Board of Governors . This honor is only given to personalities who have either been Oscar-nominated or are (or have been) committed to film art in a special way and who are proposed by two existing members. These can be actors , directors , costume designers, or anyone else in the film business. The academy combines 14 different professional fields: actors, outfitters , cameramen , directors, documentary filmmakers , producers , members from the field of film editing , composers , people from the field of public relations , short film makers and animators (draftsmen), as well as from the fields of sound, visual effects and Screenwriters .

The academy tries to make the names of its members only partially known. It can be assumed that the most famous and influential people in Hollywood are also members of the Academy. Winning one - or even more - Oscars is usually considered an invitation to this group. The Academy currently has more than 7,000 members (as of January 2016). According to a 2012 survey by the Los Angeles Times , 94 percent of the members are white, 77 percent are male and the average age is 62 years.

Even if the list of members is secret, names sometimes leak to the public, e.g. E.g. in 2016, 2017 and 2018, when the academy reacted to the allegations of racism and sexism with new invitations by increasingly accepting women and different ethnic groups as members and making this public for marketing reasons.

Academy members from Germany : Maren Ade , Fatih Akin , Katja Benrath , Volker Bertelmann (Hauschka), Bettina Böhler , Daniel Brühl , Frank Griebe , Bernhard Henrich , Nina Hoss , Judith Kaufmann , Nastassja Kinski , Diane Kruger , Max Lang , Gerhard Meixner , Gerd Nefzer , Roman Paul , Christian Petzold , Margarethe von Trotta , Patrick Vollrath , Michael Weber .

Academy members from Austria : Wolfgang Glück , Eric Pleskow , Christoph Waltz , Michael Haneke , Christian Berger , Jessica Hausner , Monika Willi .

Academy members from Switzerland : Ursula Meier , Claude Barras , Giacun Caduff , Corinna Glaus , Max Karli , Michel Merkt and Timo von Gunten

Actor Carmine Caridi was banned in 2004 after distributing confidential DVDs of competition films , Harvey Weinstein in October 2017 after allegations of sexual harassment and in May 2018 Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski for sexual offenses.

The academy, which currently has around 300 employees, was managed by Bruce Davis as Executive Director for 22 years . Since April 8, 2011, Dawn Hudson has been responsible for day-to-day business in the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer , and since August 2017 has repeatedly had arguments with the President. Since January 2019 Hudson has been supported by Christine Simmons in the rank of Chief Operating Officer .

The 36 founding members




Technician and outfitter



President of the Academy

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of AMPAS from 2013 to 2017

Web links

Commons : Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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  4. Two Austrians are new members of the Oscar Academy. In: Retrieved June 30, 2017 .
  5. "Class of 2017". Accessed June 30, 2017. .
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  7. Chatrian: Appointment to Oscar Academy also honors Berlinale. In: July 2, 2020, accessed July 2, 2020 .
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  12. Alex Stedman: Academy Invites Record 774 New Members . In: Variety . June 28, 2017 ( [accessed July 22, 2018]).
  13. Maane Khatchatourian: Academy Invites Record 928 New Members . In: Variety . June 25, 2018 ( [accessed July 22, 2018]).
  14. a b c d e f g More variety at the Oscars . In: Der Tagesspiegel Online . June 30, 2016, ISSN 1865-2263 ( [accessed July 22, 2018]).  
  15. a b c d e f g h Christiane Peitz: Oscars so big . In: Der Tagesspiegel Online . June 26, 2018, ISSN  1865-2263 ( [accessed July 22, 2018]).
  16. ^ Matt Donnelly, Marc Malkin: Academy Reaches Gender Parity in 2019 New Member Invitations. In: Variety . July 1, 2019, accessed on July 3, 2019 .
  17. Alex Stedman: Academy Invites 683 New Members in Push for More Diversity. In: Variety. June 29, 2016, accessed March 26, 2019 .
  18. Nastassja Kinski added. Newcomer to the Oscar Academy. In: n-tv . June 18, 2011, accessed January 8, 2019 .
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