I can’t think of anything worse than giving the dark side of Film Twitter validation. And while I’ll admit the Academy Awards are in desperate need of change (and have been for years), I’m not entirely sure this is the best method to combat Kevin Smith’s misplaced criticisms for not nominating “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Nevertheless, the Oscars and Twitter are joining together to allow users to use the hashtag #OscarsFanFavorite to vote for their favorite film of 2021. The only criteria is that the film had to have been last year, and do not have to be nominated or even a contender in the official race.
This seems to be a workaround for allowing social media cinephiles and film buffs to let their choices be heard without creating an entirely separate category – an attempt that was proposed a few years ago to add a “Most Popular Film Category” but it was quickly shot down to due to backlash for making it seem like popular films were less than Best Picture nominees. The idea was quickly abandoned, and it looks like this is their newest proposal to engage movie goers.
In addition to the online voting category that opens February 14th and closes March 3rd, (and though it will not be an official category added to the ceremony), the winner will be announced on the broadcast.
But wait, there’s more!
3 lucky voters and their guests will be selected to partake in an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles to present an award at the ceremony the following year. It’s a pretty sweet sweepstakes honestly, and as much as I’m against everything it stands for, I think it’s a much better solution than any previous attempt to allow movie goers to have a say so in the awards.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Twitter to help build an engaged and excited digital audience leading up to this year’s ceremony,” Meryl Johnson, VP digital marketing at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Through these activations, social media users around the world now have more opportunities to engage with the show in real time, find a community and be a part of the experience in ways they’ve never been able to before.”
The new partnership will also allow users to vote on their favorite film moment during the ceremony using the hashtag #OscarsCheersMoment and the scene will also be played during the broadcast along with the most popular tweets. This will also have winners, with 5 lucky users who participated will be given a nice package that includes a full year of free movie tickets at the theater of their choice, subscriptions to streaming services and exclusive items from the Academy Museum store.
Truthfully, the more I read about this venture, the more it’s winning me over. I’m not entirely sold on the idea of giving Twitter this much power, but of all the things the Oscars can to do to engage moviegoers, this seems like the best option for inclusion. And as much people like to shit on the awards, I would have absolutely no objection to the possibility of presenting a completely arbitrary award on national television.
I may have been skeptical, but the chance to win some pretty awesome rewards for doing a little more than tweeting about something I already love seems like a pretty worthwhile venture.
The 94th annual Academy Awards take place on March 27th, 2022. You can read the full list of nominees here.