NEXT month’s Oscars will include a new ‘fan favourite’ prize for the year’s most popular film as voted for by Twitter users.
The Academy announced on Monday (February 14) that people can vote on Twitter for their favourite film of 2021 using the #OscarsFanFavorite hashtag or by casting a ballot on the Oscars Fan Favorite website.
Voters also have a chance to win ‘an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to present an Oscar award at the following ceremony in 2023.’
The announcement — which will be made during the 94th Academy Awards telecast on March 27 — comes after several Spanish blockbusters including Being the Ricardos and Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers failed to earn Oscar nominations in major categories, including Best Picture.
Oscars organisers are hoping to lure viewers back to watching the ceremony after audience numbers plummeted during COVID-19.
Meryl Johnson, digital marketing VP at the Academy, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Twitter to help build an engaged and excited digital audience leading up to this year’s ceremony.
“The Oscars are an opportunity to bring people around the world together through their shared movie love, and through these activities 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.”
A list of films eligible for the fan favourite award is available on the Oscars website.
Javier Bardem and wife Penelope Cruz were recently announced as nominees at this year’s events, with Bardem hoping to scoop Best Actor category for his role as Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos.
The 52-year-old won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2008 for his role as psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers’ modern western drama film No Country for Old Men
He has also been nominated two other times for Spanish language films, Before Night Falls (2000) and Biutiful (2010).
This is also the fourth Oscar nomination for Penelope Cruz, 47, who in 2009 won Best Supporting Actress in Woody Allen’s Vicki Cristina Barcelona.
She is nominated for Best Actress in Pedro Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers.
Nominations for the Oscars 2022 were revealed last week, with Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog leading with 12 nominations. Dune is close behind with 10 nods, while Belfast and West Side Story have seven each.
Two other Spaniards are included in the list of this year’s nominations; Alberto Iglesias is nominated for Best Original Score for Parallel Mothers and Alberto Mielgo in the category of Best Animated Short Film for The Windshield Wiper.