It’s no secret that the Oscars, while a glamorous Hollywood schmoozefest, are also a complex business of awarding the year’s best in film. Who the academy decides to nominate and later pick to win is often controversial, disagreeable, and, on rare occasion, right on the nose. But how does the voting process work? AJ+ have come up with a concise video explainer that’s both fun and knowledgeable—just in time for this year’s ceremony.
Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly bureaucratic: You can’t even become an academy member unless you’re a previous Oscar nominee or have two active members who can vouch for you—and even then your membership isn’t guaranteed. That might explain the academy’s history of favoring an overwhelmingly white male majority.