Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 14:00 UK

Voting change for best film Oscar

Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire won best film at the last ceremony

The voting system, which will determine the winner of the best picture at this year's Oscars is being changed, it has been announced.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said preferential voting will now be used to tally the final vote for the award.

Voters will be asked to rank nominees in order of preference from 1 to 10.

In all other categories, the victory goes to the performer who earns the most votes.

The new system for tallying vote for best picture is the same preferential voting system that the Academy uses in its nominating process.

However, this is the first time it has been used for best picture voting since 1945.

'Strongest support'

The voting process has been adapted to accommodate the new picture shortlist, which has been increased to allow 10 films into the category, instead of five.

"Instead of just marking an X to indicate which one picture they believe to be the best, members will indicate their second, third and further preferences as well," Academy president Tom Sherak said.

He explained that would "establish the best picture recipient with the strongest support of a majority of our electorate".

The decision to use the preferential system was made because a larger field meant a winner could emerge with just slightly more than 580 votes out of the potential voting pool of 5,800 members.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on 2 February at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.



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