LOS ANGELES Hollywood's Oscar race is officially on.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday said it has mailed out nomination ballots to the 5,755 of its members who will be voting for The Academy Awards for 2010, or Oscars, the world's top film honors.
Each year a few hundred movies hope to qualify for Oscars, but only 10 will be nominated for best feature film. Their producers and distributors begin jockeying for position as far back as the summer, but it is only when the academy officially mails out ballots that the real race gets started.
Winning an Oscar for best film, actor, actress, writer, director or in any other category can help boost box office and launch careers.
The 2010 Oscars will be given out on February 27 in Los Angeles. Nominees for the awards will be named on January 25.
(Editing by Christine Kearney)