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Oscar.com to unleash content ahead of the Academy awards

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MUMBAI: With the prestigious Oscar Awards a few weeks away, Oscar.com, the official site for the 79th Academy Awards, will provide movie fans with a lot of video.

This includes behind-the-scenes content, a sneak peek into Oscar preparations, as well as online sweepstakes and interactive games. In india the oscars will air on Star movies on 26 February.

During Oscar Week, 19-24 February 2007 Oscar.com will feature behind-the-scenes video diaries from the host Ellen DeGeneres as she prepares to host the telecast.

Hosted by Allyson Waterman and Greg Vaughan (star of US broadcaster ABC's General Hospital), Road to the Oscars will cover the events that take place during the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards, including footage from pre-Oscar events, interviews and post-show coverage. Road to the Oscars will feature four weekly shows and a daily show from 19 -26 February 2007.

New to Oscar.com this year is a Q&A section with the nominees in which they answer questions. Fans can get to know the stars better. Also new is the Thank You Cam, where fans can see the first exclusive comments from the winners as they leave the stage with their Oscar statuette.

Tom Julian, Oscar.coms official fashion trend analyst, will give fans a look into red carpet style with exclusive one-on-one visits with fashion designers. Julian will also take fans back in time with the Evolution of Style page.

In addition Oscar.com will launch two exclusive promotions, Find the 79s and Predict the Winners. A watch-and-win contest, viewers can tune in during the live show to look for hidden 79s placed throughout the telecast. At the end of the telecast, viewers may log on to Oscar.com and submit a list of where the symbols appeared for a chance to win great prizes. Predict the Winners offers fans a chance to test their skills on their Oscar predictions. On Oscar.com fans may follow along with printable ballots.

Users can also log on on 26 February 2007 to watch backstage interview footage with the winners of the 79th Academy Awards.

Furthermore Oscar.com also has interactive games, including Your Perfect Oscar Date. This allows players to determine which celebrities would make their perfect Oscar night date. Which Character Are You? aims to keep players guessing about which memorable movie character they are most similar to.

The challenge for the Academy though will be viewership. Apart from The Departed which made over $100 million the other four films nominated for best picture have not made much money at the box office. Their combined box office take is only slightly more than what last year's nominees had made which was the lowest ever.

In fact Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima a second world war film told from Japan's perspective has made only a little over two million dollars. The Queen which stars Oscar favourite Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II made a modest $35 million. Babel made a little over $ 23 million.

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