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The Academy Awards are presented by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of cinematic excellence.
Since its inception in 1929, this has become one of the most prominent awards ceremonies in the world. Every year the much anticipated event is broadcast live in more than one hundred countries.
These awards are also known as the 'Oscars', a pet-name whose earliest mentions date back to 1932. However, the origin of this name remains contested. According to one version, the nickname was inspired by the Academy's Executive Secretary at the time, Margaret Herrick, who claimed that the golden statuette given to the winners resembled her uncle Oscar.
The statuette is in the shape of a man, a knight, holding a sword pointing downwards. He is standing on top of round film reel with five spokes, each representing a different aspect of cinematic production. The Academy Awards recognize all aspects of film production, devoting separate awards for actors, writers, directors, producers and technicians.