This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Lupita Nyong’o in a scene from "12 Years a Slave." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Francois Duhamel, file)
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In an industry known for its boundless self-promotion, campaigning for this year's Oscars has been a relatively civil affair, compared with the bare-knuckled sparring of years past.But that does not mean studios have toned down the campaigns around their films and nominees. In fact, Oscar watchers believe this awards season has been the most feverishly contested in recent memory.This year, nine films will compete for the best picture Oscar, which will be handed out on March 2 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles.An emphasis on voter outreach could play a bigger role this year, when "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" tied for the top award from the Producers Guild of America last month out of thousands of votes. The award is one of the top predictors of Oscar success.
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