Academy Members Vote on Oscar Nominees
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts are casting their ballots in the first round of voting to see who will contend for a golden Oscar this year. An official announcement will be made on January 22, and then a second round of voting will begin to decide who the 2009 Oscar winners will be.
Last week, nominations were announced for the 2009 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards - one of the key indicators for Oscar success.
British actress Kate Winslet was shortlisted in two categories, as best actress for Revolutionary Road and best supporting actress for post-war drama The Reader.
Political biopic Milk and play adaptations, Doubt and Frost/Nixon, were among films shortlisted for the SAG best ensemble award - its equivalent of a best picture prize.
On Tuesday, SAG, which has 120,000 members, postponed its vote on whether to go on strike.
It had wanted to ballot members on 2 January but will not now do so until 14 January at the earliest, because of division among its members.
Actor Hugh Jackman will host the 2009 awards. Front runners for best film include Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
A possible strike by SAG members may interfere with the Academy Awards proceedings, as most film professionals will not cross picket lines to attend.