LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Final ballots to pick the winners of the movie industry's most sought-after awards -- the Oscars -- were sent to voters on Wednesday, four weeks out from Hollywood's biggest night of the year.
The ballots, sent to 5,829 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, list nominees in 19 categories for the Oscars, which will be announced on February 24.
The ballots must be returned to auditing firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers by 5 pm (0100 GMT) on February 19. Ballots received after the deadline will not be counted.
Ballots for best documentary feature, documentary short subject, foreign language film, animated short film and live action short film, will be mailed after members have verified their attendance at mandatory screenings, the Academy said in a statement.
This year's Oscars are taking place amid uncertainty caused by Hollywood's writers strike, which has already forced the cancellation of the Golden Globes.
Crime thriller "No Country for Old Men" and oil industry drama "There Will Be Blood" are the front-runners for this year's Oscars, earning eight nods each at last week's nominations announcement.
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