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FACTBOX-Facts about the Academy Awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations on Tuesday for the 80th annual Academy Awards.

The Oscars, the film industry’s most coveted awards, will be presented on February 24 at the Kodak Theatre in a Hollywood shopping mall. Jon Stewart is scheduled to host, but the Hollywood writers strike has cast uncertainty on the show’s format.

Following are key facts about the awards:

* The violent thriller “No Country for Old Men” and the grim drama “There Will Be Blood” led the field with eight nominations each, including best picture and director.

* Both films were produced by Viacom Inc’s Paramount Vantage and Walt Disney Co’s Miramax Films.

* The British period romance “Atonement” and the legal thriller “Michael Clayton” scored seven each, and were also nominated for best picture, along with the comedy “Juno.”

* Nominated foreign actors include Britain’s Daniel Day-Lewis for “There Will Be Blood,” Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton for “Michael Clayton, and Julie Christie for “Away From Her,” Spain’s Javier Bardem for “No Country For Old Men,” Australia’s Cate Blanchett for both “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “I’m Not There,” France’s Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en rose,” and Canada’s Ellen Page for “Juno.”

* Awards will be presented in up to 25 categories. Production designer Robert Boyle, 98, will receive an honorary Oscar in recognition of a career that included work on such films as “North By Northwest” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

* The Oscar statuette presented to each winner is made of gold-plated britannium, a metal alloy. Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statue is 13 1/2 inches tall and weighs 8 1/2 pounds (3.9 kg). The origins of the nickname “Oscar” aren’t clear, according to the academy’s Web site.

* More than 6,000 members of academy cast secret ballots to determine the Oscar winners, according to www.oscars.org. Ballots will be mailed out to voters on January 30 and are due back by February 19.

Reporting by Dean Goodman, editing by Doina Chiacu

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