Now that nominations for the 89th Academy Awards have been announced, you may be wondering who ultimately selects the winner of each award, including best picture. The answer is actually quite simple: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is responsible for choosing winners.
But who belongs to the academy, exactly? According to its website, "membership is limited to film artists working in the production of theatrically released motion pictures." In addition, becoming a member is not easy.
The academy is made up of 17 branches, representing everyone from actors to writers along with those who do not fit in a specific category. Most Oscar nominations are determined by the votes of corresponding branch members — in other words, directors nominate directors. Now that nominations have been released, though, members from all 17 branches can vote in all categories. So, directors can cast ballots in the acting categories and vice versa.
Final voting will open Feb. 13 and close Feb. 21, just five days before the live ceremony. As always, after votes are tabulated, partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers are the only people who will know the results before they're announced.
The 89th Academy Awards will air live on ABC at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Mic has ongoing coverage of the 89th Academy Awards. Please follow our main Academy Awards hub here.