The Academy Awards®, popularly known as the Oscars®, are presented annually by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. The formal ceremony at which the awards are presented is one of the most prominent award ceremonies in the world. It is also the oldest award ceremony in the media, and many other award ceremonies such as the Grammy Awards (for music), Golden Globe Awards (all forms of media), and Emmy Awards (for television) are often modeled from the Academy. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself was conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer.
The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held Thursday, May 16, 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of 1927 and 1928. It was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. deMille. The 81st Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 2008, was held on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, with actor Hugh Jackman hosting the ceremony.
The first awards were presented on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner in Hollywood with an audience of fewer than 1,000 people. Since the first year, the awards have been publicly broadcast, at first by radio then by TV after 1953.