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Oscar awards favor drama, actresses, study indicates
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A new study released Monday indicated that an actress playing a leading role in a drama movie has more chances to be nominated for an Academy Award than a male comedian.

According to the study by researchers from UCLA and Harvard University, comedic artists have a tougher time when it comes to getting an Oscar nomination than do dramatic actors.

The 80th annual Academy Awards nominations are scheduled to be announced here Tuesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the awards.

Actresses stand a better chance of being recognized by Oscars because there are fewer female than male performers in films, and both are eligible for the same number of awards, explained Nicole Esparza of Harvard, the study's lead author.

"The odds of being nominated for an Academy Award are so much greater for performers who appear in dramas that -- at least at this time of year -- it really pays to be a drama queen," said Gabriel Rossman, an assistant professor of sociology at UCLA, who is another author of the study.

Rossman said that there has long been a sense in the entertainment industry that the nominations process prefers dramas, but few people are aware of the magnitude of the effect.

The study used records of every Oscar-eligible film between the 1927 founding of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and 2005, including a total of 1,394 nominations.

The researchers found that actors, male or female, were nine times more likely to receive an Academy Award nomination in a drama than for a non-drama.

Other pluses include having a major film distributor, previous Oscar nominations, a high spot in the lists of past movie credits and having fewer films competing for attention, according to the study.

"It's surprising how many variables other than a performer's talent play a role in determining who gets nominated," said Esparza.

(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)

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