Nomination ballots are due to be mailed out today (Monday) for this year's Academy Awards competition. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that 248 films are eligible in the Best Picture category. They include any film that began at least a seven-day run in a Los Angeles County theater before midnight, Dec. 31 and was not previously shown or distributed "in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release." The ballots must be returned by Jan. 14 at 5 00 p.m. They will then be tabulated by the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which will deliver the results to the Academy, which in turn will announce the finalists on Jan. 25 at 5 30 a.m. Oscar trophies to the winners will be presented on Feb. 27 at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, which will be televised live in the U.S. by ABC and carried simultaneously in more than 200 countries.