When and why was the Oscar Academy founded?

On the 16th May 1929, the first ceremony for the Oscars took place at a party held for about 270 people in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.

Back in 1927 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), was formed and was a collaborative effort of 36 most elite individuals in the motion picture industry, but was first thought of by Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM film studio.

Douglas Fairbanks Sr, a film actor was chosen as the first president of the Academy. The reasons of setting up this society was a way for the establishment to award and honor the talents of the artists within the Motion Picture Industry.

In May 1929, the first Oscar for Best Actor was won by the German tragedian Emil Jannings, for his role in ‘The Last Command’ and ‘The Way of All Flesh’. Whilst the award for Best Actress went to Janet Gaynor, for ‘Seventh Heaven’, ‘Street Angel’ and ‘Sunrise’.

There were two awards in Direction, for Dramatic Picture and Comedic Picture, won by Frank Borzage and Lewis Milestone, respectively. The fist official Best Picture winner, which was a silent film and the only silent film to win the Best Picture award was Wings, and it was directed by William Wellman.

The Academy only started using the nickname ‘Oscar’ for its awards in 1939. The official title for the award is an “Academy Award of Merit”.

On 26th February 2017, the 89th Oscar Awards ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center, Los Angeles, California.