For my collaborative piece, I decided to host the first annual Humanities Program Academy Awards! The Humes Academy of Motion Picture Sciences used a preferential ballot just like the real Academy Awards do to rank the 2021 Best Picture nominees. These nominees were The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
The voters were given links to the IMDb pages of all the nominees, a brief explanation on how preferential ballots work (the collaborative piece of my portfolio comes through here) and asked to rank them from #1 being their favorite to #8 being their least favorite. As a bonus since the survey was conducted the on day of the 93rd Academy Awards, they were asked to predict who would win the less prestigious, real life award.
This project is collaborative in the truest sense. Everyone whether they knew it or not was collaborating in each other in that how they ranked others’ favorite titles impacts the end results. The movie with the least amount of #1 votes each round gets knocked off yes, so the real strength of a title comes from how many #2 and #3 votes it can get.
Onto the results…
The winner of the inagural Humanities Program Academy Awards, aka the Humies, is….
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
- Mank, directed by David Fincher, was the first movie to drop out due to zero number one votes in the first round.
- Trial of the Chicago 7, directed by Aaron Sorkin, was the leader in initial votes earned by just under the “more than half” it would need to win outright. It ultimately lost due to its polarized reception- it gained merely two votes from preferential ballots that favored movies that dropped out before it.
- The tie between The Father and Sound of Metal for second to last place was broken by a special formula that assigns weighted points to the rankings. The Father prevailed.
- Judas and the Black Messiah, directed by Shaka King, was the real success story of the preferential ballot system. It started off in a respectable 4th place in total number of #1 votes but due to broad support was the biggest gainer in #1 votes every round. It was able to accumulate enough #1s by the end of the eighth round.
- Nomadland, directed by Chloe Zhao, the eventual winner of the category at the Oscars was eliminated in the penultimate round facing off against eventual winner Judas in a tiebreaker. Judas was pushed over the edge by just one 4th place ranking on one ballot bringing its average slightly higher than Nomadland’s. Neither received any last place rankings on any ballots (Sound of Metal received the most).
- In the bonus question asking voters to prognosticate who will win, Humesters were right on the money guessing Nomadland. Trial, which went home Oscar-less (and Humies-less) despite the odds was the runner up.
Thank you so much to all those who participated! I could not have done this without you!