Tag: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Motion Picture Academy Academy Increases Diversity Push by Adding Three Governors

Reginald Hudlin Gregory Nava Jennifer Yuh
Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Gregory Nava and Reginald Hudlin (REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Tim Gray via Variety.com

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences furthered its efforts at diversity by adding three members to the board of governors, and six members to various board committees.

The board OK’d president Cheryl Boone Isaacs’s choices of Reginald Hudlin (directors branch), Gregory Nava (writers branch) and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (short films and feature animation). They will serve three-year terms, effective immediately.

“I’m proud of the steps we have taken to increase diversity,” said Boone Isaacs. “However, we know there is more to do as we move forward to make this a more inclusive organization.”

The board also appointed additional Academy members to each of the six board committees that provide oversight to specific Academy areas.

Actor Gael García Bernal joins the awards and events committee, chaired by first VP Jeffrey Kurland. Cinematographer Amy Vincent joins the preservation and history committee, chaired by VP John Bailey. Producer Effie Brown joins the museum committee, chaired by VP Kathleen Kennedy. Executive Marcus Hu and animator Floyd Norman join the education and outreach committee, chaired by VP Bill Kroyer.

Executive Vanessa Morrison joins the finance committee, chaired by treasurer Jim Gianopulos. Producer Stephanie Allain joins the membership and administration committee, chaired by secretary Phil Robinson.

Continue reading “Motion Picture Academy Academy Increases Diversity Push by Adding Three Governors”

Reginald Hudlin to Produce Oscar Telecast in 2016

Reginald Hudlin (photo via pepperdine.edu)
Reginald Hudlin (photo via pepperdine.edu)

According to Variety.com, filmmaker (“Boomerang”, “House Party”) and producer Reginald Hudlin will produce the 88th Academy Awards with veteran live television events producer  David Hill. The Awards will be held Feb. 28, 2016.

Hudlin is an Oscar-nominated producer for “Django Unchained,” and last year produced the Governors Awards. He has been the executive producer of the NAACP Image Awards since 2012. Hudlin was the first president of entertainment for BET Networks from 2005-09.

Hill was a longtime 21st Century Fox/News Corp. executive who stepped down in June to launch a production banner that focused on live TV events. Hill is known for his skill at overseeing live sports production, and was key in building Fox Sports; in recent years he’s overseen “American Idol” for the Fox network.

“We’re delighted to have this talented team on board,” said AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “David is a true innovator with a dynamic personality.  His vast experience as a live events producer, coupled with Reggie’s energy, creativity and talent as a filmmaker, is sure to make this year’s Oscar telecast a memorable one.”

“I’m looking forward to working with the Academy again,” said Hudlin. “I love every kind of film, and this year’s awards will be a celebration of the total range of cinema.”

“We’re excited to work with David and Reggie,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “With their enthusiasm and breadth of experience, they will bring a fresh perspective to the Oscar show.”

New producers always come in with ambitious ideas but have to contend with demands from both AMPAS and ABC. Those include the constraints of how to add innovative elements while keeping the running time manageable. And there are many elements that have to be included, such as 24 awards, recaps of the Sci-Tech honors and the Governors Awards and the In Memoriam segment. In all, that means a producer has less than 45 minutes to include such options as an opening monologue, performance of nominated songs, etc.

For the record, here are the producers of the past decade: the 2006 ceremony, Gil Cates (hosted by Jon Stewart); 2007, Laura Ziskin (hosted by Ellen DeGeneres); 2008 Cates (Jon Stewart again); 2009 Laurence Mark & Bill Condon (Hugh Jackman); 2010 Bill Mechanic, Adam Shankman (Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin); 2011 Bruce Cohen, Don Mischer (James Franco, Anne Hathaway); 2012 Brian Grazer (after Brett Ratner exited; host, Billy Crystal).  Neil Meron and Craig Zadan produced the last three, which were hosted by Seth MacFarlane, Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris.

original article by Tim Gray; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Spike Lee to Receive Governors Award from Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Spike Lee (photo via huffingtonpost.com)
Spike Lee (photo via huffingtonpost.com)

Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds will be honored Nov. 14 at the seventh annual Governors Awards.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted the awards at their Aug. 25 meeting. Following tradition, AMPAS representatives withheld the announcement until they could notify the recipients.

In 2009, the Academy broke out the Governors Awards into a separate, untelevised ceremony; the Oscarcast time constraints limited the number of honorees and the time devoted to each. So the separate ceremony was an experiment, but an immediate success. There was no pressure to select ratings-friendly individuals, and the board has often gone for people who are well-known in the industry but unfamiliar to the public.

The Academy can salute up to six people each year: four honorary Oscars, and one apiece for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and the Thalberg Award, which goes to a film producer for their body of work. It’s generally been four honorees, except for 2011, when there were three.

Lee and Rowlands will receive the annual honorary Oscars and Reynolds will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Continue reading “Spike Lee to Receive Governors Award from Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences”

Motion Picture Academy Re-elects Cheryl Boone Isaacs as President

Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been reelected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Boone Isaacs, a veteran Hollywood marketer and longtime academy insider, was reelected Tuesday evening by the group’s 51-member board of governors.

Boone Isaacs, the first African American president of the movie industry’s most prominent organization, will enter her third one-year term. She is eligible to stay in the role for a total of four years.

In addition, Jeffrey Kurland was elected first vice president; John Bailey, Kathleen Kennedy and Bill Kroyer were elected to vice president posts; Jim Gianopulos was elected treasurer; and Phil Robinson was elected secretary.

Boone Isaacs and the academy’s board will have the task of selecting producers for the 2016 Oscar telecast and making decisions about the ambitious new Academy Museum, scheduled to open in 2017.

As head of CBI Enterprises Inc., Boone Isaacs has consulted on marketing efforts for such films as “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech” and “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Starting in September, she will serve as an adjunct professor at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange.

article by Rebecca Keegan via latimes.com

Academy of Motion Pictures Invites Record 322 New Members in Push for More Oscar Diversity

New AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs
AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs

According to Variety.com, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has made a concrete push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who, if they accept, can help change the organization’s primarily white male demographics.

Among the invitees are “Selma” actor David Oyelowo, “Belle” and “Beyond the Lights” actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw, actor Kevin Hart, “Set It Off” and “Italian Job” director F. Gary Gray, “Best Man” director Malcolm D. Lee, “Amazing Grace” and “Beat Street” director Stan Lathan, “Selma” casting director Aisha Coley, Dreamworks executive Mellody Hobson, and “Frozen” animator Marlon West. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Academy, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices.

The Academy last year sent 271 invitations, with 276 in 2013. For the years between 2004 and 2012, the average was 133. There is no guarantee that all will join, but it’s rare for people to decline. The Academy board voted on the list Tuesday, after recommendations from its membership committee.

CEO Dawn Hudson and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs have been pushing to broaden the organization’s makeup. Last year, Boone Isaacs told Variety that the 2014 new-member list “is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. … The membership is becoming more and more a reflection of the world at large.”

Hudson and Boone Isaacs always stress that the outreach does not means a change in standards. Each branch has strict requirements on eligibility based on industry tenure and credits.  As of the most recent tally for 2014 voting, the Academy had 6,124 voting members. The “new voices” clearly constitute a tiny fraction of the group. But AMPAS officials are hoping that it can help can make a difference.

And as June 24-July 2 balloting is under way for board members, exactly one-third of the board are women: 17 out of 42. But it could get closer to 50-50 parity with the new crop, which includes a number of racial minorities and women among this year’s board contenders.

For a full list of invitees, click here.

original article by Tim Gray; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Harry Belafonte Receives Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

belafonte_article_story_large

According to Deadline.com, Harry Belafonte was honored last night at the Sixth Annual Governors Awards of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.  Belafonte received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and during his speech, galvanized the industry crowd by asking them to aim higher.

Belafonte gave one of the all-time great acceptance speeches at the Governors Awards, citing Hollywood’s often-shameful power to influence attitudes, and challenging the heavy-hitters in the room to instead create works that allow global audiences “to see the better side of who we are as a species.”

He reminded the crowd about “Birth of a Nation,” the early “Tarzan” films (depicting “inept, ignorant Africans”) and “Song of the South,” as well as the industry’s cowardice during the McCarthy hearings. He also referred to the industry’s decades-long treatment of Native Americans in films, “and at the moment, Arabs aren’t looking so good.” The industry doesn’t like trouble-makers and “on occasion, I have been one of its targets.”

But he said that “today’s harvest of films yields sweeter fruit,” citing “Schindler’s List,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “12 Years a Slave” as examples. He also thanked such inspirations as Langston HughesJames BaldwinEleanor Roosevelt and Paul Robeson, quoting the latter’s statement that “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth” as well as the radical voice of civilization.

He then called Sidney Poitier to the stage, recognizing the actor’s role in changing public attitudes toward blacks. And he added that he hopes things will improve this century: “Maybe it could be a civilization game-changer.”

Other Governors Awards winners were 94 year-old actress Maureen O’Hara, legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, and masterful screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere gave a moving tribute to Hollywood’s “forgotten” writers.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Re-Elected Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences President

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Academy of motion
Cheryl Boone, Re-Elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (MICHAEL LEWIS)

According to Variety.com, on Tuesday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences re-elected Cheryl Boone Isaacs as its President.  This upcoming year will mark her second term.  (Officers, including the president, are elected for one-year stints, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any one office.)

Since her first election on July 30, 2013, Boone Isaacs has generally gotten favorable reaction for keeping the Academy on track during major changes and for working to expand its effectiveness.

While maintaining ongoing goals, including education, preservation and sci-tech advancement — as well as all things related to the all-important yearly Oscars broadcast — the Academy is moving ahead on several fronts. These include recent moves to open its museum (slated for 2017), and digital innovations such as the video series “Academy Originals,” consisting of documentary-style examinations of creativity and film history.

Continue reading “Cheryl Boone Isaacs Re-Elected Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences President”

“12 Years A Slave” Nabs 9 Oscar Nominations, Including Best Picture

12 Years A Slave

This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for its 86th annual Awards, and recent Golden Globes Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave was honored nine times, including nods for Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley), Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Director (Steve McQueen) and Best Picture (Brad Pitt is one of the producers).

Other notable nominations include Barkhad Abdi for Best Supporting Actor in Captain Phillips, Pharrell Williams for Original Song (“Happy” from Despicable Me 2) and U2 for Original Song (“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom).

American Hustle and Gravity tied for most nominations with ten nominations each, and will likely provide the stiffest competition for 12 Years during the March 2nd awards ceremony.

The full list of nominations follows below:

BEST PICTURE

“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Gravity”
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Continue reading ““12 Years A Slave” Nabs 9 Oscar Nominations, Including Best Picture”

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Elected President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

New AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs
New AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs

According to Variety.com, Cheryl Boone Isaacs has become the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences first African-American president.  After a lengthy career behind the scenes, the Academy Board of Governors chose Isaacs, who served as first vice president of the Academy board.  Isaacs, who has held every other Academy board officer position and also produced last year’s Governor’s Awards, also becomes the first female Academy president since Fay Kanin in 1979-83 and third overall, counting the two-month tenure of Bette Davis in 1941.

Rob Friedman, the co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group and most recently treasurer of the board, was perceived as the other top candidate for the post.  Voting totals are not released by the Academy.  Academy board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any one office, including president.

The president role was once a ceremonial title.  But in recent years the role has taken on greater responsibility, as each worked with the Academy’s salaried staff, including CEO Dawn Hudson and Ric Robertson to further diversity initiatives, while also trying to move the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, scheduled to open in 2017, closer to reality. They also dealt with questions of electronic voting, changes in Oscar rules (such as more than five best-picture contenders) and a restructuring of the staff.

article by Jon Weisman with additional reporting by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

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