Ahead of the Oscar nominations announcement, the Academy CEO is touting the largest turnout of voters of its nearly 10,000-person membership in its 94-year history.

Following the close of Oscar nomination voting, which ended Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. PT, Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO, sent an email to the membership to praise its “highest ever participation during voting at any time in the Academy’s history.”

Hudson also noted in the letter that ballots were submitted from 82 countries, among the 9,487 members that were eligible to participate in voting. However, neither the letter nor the Academy specified the actual participation number. Marking the first year that banned studios and awards campaigns from sending DVD screeners, highlighting one of the Academy’s focuses on “environmental sustainability,” Hudson took the opportunity to promote the success of the Academy Screening Room, the digital platform that industry voters use to view the eligible titles.

More significant participation could yield unexpected results when nominations are announced on Tuesday. With an awards season that’s already produced some curveballs, including a rise in omicron cases, the Oscar race is as open as ever, in several categories, most significantly, best picture. This year marks the return of 10 guaranteed movies nominated for the Academy’s top category since its two-year inclusion in 2009 and 2010.

Those ceremonies saw big blockbusters and varying genres recognized in the premier category such as “Avatar,” “The Blind Side,” “District 9,” “Inception,” “Toy Story 3” and “Up.” Speculation has mounted for weeks regarding the possibility of the sci-fi epic “Dune” leading the nomination field or a superhero box-office smash like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” finding its way into the best picture lineup. In addition, there are also many A-listers vying for attention, including Will Smith, Lady Gaga, Kristen Stewart, Ariana Grande, Jay-Z and Beyonce, which could help with the show’s ratings. Will Packer is taking over as the ceremony’s producer this year, with no news yet regarding the host or how the ceremony will unfold.

The Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 8. Final voting runs from March 17-22. The 94th Oscars ceremony is scheduled to take place on March 27.

A copy of the letter Hudson sent is below:

Thank you for taking the time to vote for this year’s Oscar nominees. Because of your passion for movies and for the work of your fellow artists, you led us to our highest ever participation during voting at any time in the Academy’s history. You submitted ballots from 82 countries. That’s a lot of love for movies!

You also played a big role in the success of the Academy Screening Room. This season marks our first without DVD screeners, and you embraced our focus on environmental sustainability.

As we head toward Finals voting, I hope you’ll continue to take advantage of all the available films on ASR. Look in “Extras” for the illuminating “Scene at the Academy” conversations as well as additional programs—there’s a lot to take in if you want more film-immersion.

The nominees in all 23 award categories will be announced on Tuesday, February 8. Finals voting begins March 17. And mark your calendars for our 94th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 27.

Take care and, again, thank you for taking the time to celebrate the terrific achievements of your fellow artists.

My very best,