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Academy Reveals Submission Dates For 87th Oscars

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 11:02am PDT

Academy Reveals Submission Dates For 87th OscarsThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced category submission deadlines for 87th Academy Awards consideration.

Here are the dates:

Scientific and Technical Awards: Friday, July 11 Read More »

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OSCARS: Dawn Hudson Gets New Three-Year Contract; Is Cheryl Boone Isaacs Re-Election Next?

Pete Hammond

The Board Of Governors of the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Tuesday night renewed, as expected, CEO Dawn Hudson‘s contract 2013 Governors Awards: Dawn Hudsonfor another three years.  The fact that it was a three-year renewal is seen as a real vote of confidence on the part of the Board. There were rumors that some only wanted to re-up her for a year, but this never panned out. She’s in for the long haul. Her predecessor, Bruce Davis, served for 30 years. This new contract will take Hudson through the planned opening of the Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures, which is scheduled to be unveiled in 2017. It’s only appropriate since she has been a main mover and shaker in the drive to make the long-dreamed-of museum a reality.

Under Hudson’s tenure, ratings for the Oscar show have consistently gone up, and there has been stability in the selection of producers — a long-desired Academy goal — with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron re-upping for a third year to produce the show in 2015.Oscar_badge__140302212232 This is the longest tenure for Academy Award show producers since Gil Cates did it three times in a row 1995-97.  She also has been a leading voice for diversity in all aspects of the Academy since signing on for her gig in April 2011. And for the first time last year there was a general Academy membership meeting in May which also re-emphasized her goal of making the notoriously closed organization a little more democratic. Plans for a similar meeting this year have yet to be announced. Also for the first time this year, all 24 Oscar categories were open to all members and a mailing was sent with screeners including nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, Short and Feature Documentaries, Live Action and Animated shorts. Previously most of these categories were limited to members who attended special screenings.

Hudson got off to a shaky start in 2011 as staff shakeups and private complaints about her management style threatened to disrupt the normally quiet and conservative institution. All that has settled as the Academy membership started embracing change which was not always easy with this group. One example was the introduction of online voting in 2012. The first year was rocky indeed, but things were smoothed out in the last season and there were few complaints about its implementation. Learning curves can sometimes be difficult but Hudson and the Academy leadership weathered the storm. Read More »

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2014 Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Competition Underway

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 2:10pm PST

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The 2014 Academy Nicholl FellowshipsStudent Academy Awards in Screenwriting competition is now underway. In November, as many as five $35,000 fellowships will be awarded.

Since 1986, 133 fellowships have been awarded, including one to Destin Daniel Cretton, who wrote and directed “Short Term 12” from his 2010 Nicholl Fellowship-winning script. Other fellows include Creighton Rothenberger, who co-wrote “Olympus Has Fallen,” which opened in theaters last March; Rebecca Sonnenshine, a writer and co-producer on “The Vampire Diaries”; Andrew Marlowe, the creator of and an executive producer on “Castle”’; and Terri Edda Miller, a writer and consulting producer on “Castle.” Fellow Raymond De Felitta directed “Rob the Mob,” which is slated to open theatrically on March 21, 2014.

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UPDATE: Cheryl Boone Isaacs Elected President Of Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; Board Officers Include John Lasseter & Dick Cook

UPDATE, 8:52 PM: The Academy tonight has also elected Disney/Pixar’s John Lasseter as First VP, the position Cheryl Boone Isaacs held before being voted president earlier in the night by the Board of Governors. Jeffrey Kurland and Leonard Engelman were elected to VP posts, Dick Cook was elected treasurer, and Phil Robinson was elected secretary.  Officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office. AMPAS’ full release is below the original break.

PREVIOUS, BREAKING, 6:52 PM… The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciencesnewly selected Board of Governors just made history: it has elected marketing executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs as the new president. She becomes the first black president of AMPAS and only the third woman elected to the post. The Academy sent word via its Twitter feed; Governors are still voting on the rest of their officers and will send the full results of those elections soon. Boone Isaacs, a marketing consultant, has the most AMPAS experience: she currently serves as First VP but has also been VP, Treasurer, Secretary, President of the Academy Foundation, and last year producer of the Governors Awards. She has worked at New Line and Paramount. She replaces current one-term president Hawk Koch, who served nine years on the board but is prohibited from running again as governors are termed out after 9 years. Though there was no formal campaigning for the job, it was clear this election came down to a pair of Public Relations branch candidates: Boone Isaacs and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Rob Friedman. Both were in the running last year with Koch before he got the nod. Neither admitted to being a candidate this week, but Boone Isaacs told Deadline’s Pete Hammond that she would be beyond honored to take on the presidency of the 86-year-old AMPAS. “I would be thrilled and probably react like a schoolgirl if it happened,” she joked.

Here’s the official release: Read More »

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OSCARS: Animated Feature Rule Change

By | Monday May 20, 2013 @ 11:22am PDT

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved rules for the 86th Oscars®. The most significant change affects the Animated Feature Film category.

In this category, the new rule designates a maximum of two award recipients, one of whom must have a producer credit. The director and/or key creative individual shall continue to be a recipient, and in the circumstance of a two-person team with shared and equal director credit, a third statuette may be awarded.

Previously announced rules changes for the 86th Academy Awards® include allowing members to see the nominated documentary shorts and foreign language films either at a theatrical screening or on DVD. Prior to the final round of voting, the Academy will provide members with DVDs of the nominated films in five categories: Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short Film, and Live Action Short Film.

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‘Hunger Games’ Scribe Billy Ray To Give Nicholl Keynote

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Screenwriter Billy Ray will deliver the keynote address at the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting ceremony on Thursday, November 8, at the Beverly Wilshire. Ray, who co-wrote this summer’s “The Hunger Games,” also wrote and directed “Breach” (2007) and “Shattered Glass” (2003). He is the writer of “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, which is scheduled for release in 2013.

Related: Academy Announces Nicholl Fellowships

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Academy Promotes Scott Miller & Kimberly Roush

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 10:58am PDT

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has promoted Scott Miller and Kimberly Roush to senior management positions, COO Ric Robertson announced today. Miller, who will continue to serve as Assistant General Counsel, has also assumed the role of Managing Director of Administration, while Roush has been elevated to Managing Director of Membership and Awards. Both will report directly to Robertson.

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Academy To Release Update On Film Preservation Issues In Digital Era

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 1:14pm PST

Digital moviemaking has grown significantly in the roughly five years since the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences released its initial Digital Dilemma report in 2007. That report looked at the challenges of preserving digital content. The Academy’s Science and Technology Council is preparing to issue Digital Dilemma 2: Perspectives From Independent Filmmakers, Documentarians And Nonprofit Audiovisual Archives report later this week, with this one focusing on Hollywood’s indie communities. Most of the surveyed filmmakers haven’t given much thought to preservation of their finished work; many arrange for storage but few store film or digital masters using reliable archival preservation practices. As digital formats evolve, old ones can become obsolete or deteriorate and in worst case scenarios functionally inaccessible — lost. Read the Executive Summary of DD2 here.

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OSCARS: 15 Feature Films On VFX Shortlist

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films have been selected for consideration for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 84th Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Cowboys & Aliens”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
“Real Steel”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”
“Sucker Punch”
“Super 8″
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
“The Tree of Life”
“X-Men: First Class”

In early January, the members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee, who selected the 15 films, will narrow the list to 10. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films on Thursday, January 19. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

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Academy To Screen First Best Pic Winner ‘Wings’ For Paramount’s 100th Birthday

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences said today that it will screen its first Best Picture Oscar winner, the 1927 silent film Wings, on January 18 next year as part of a celebration of Paramount Pictures’ 100th anniversary. Tickets are available beginning today. The movie, which starred Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper, first premiered in 1927. It also was the only silent film to win the Best Picture Oscar, something worth noting especially this year with the awards buzz surrounding Michel Hazanavicius’ black-and-white silent The Artist, which the Weinstein Co is distributing and mounting a series Oscar campaign for after sweeping it up at Cannes; it already won the Best Pic award from the New York Film Critics Circle earlier this week. The Wings screening next month will be a premiere of a restoration by Paramount with the help of the Academy Film Archive, complete with live-music accompaniment on the organ by Clark Wilson. It’s part of the Academy’s Paramount celebration that includes the exhibition “Paramount’s Movie Milestones: A Centennial Celebration,” which features photographs, posters, design sketches and personal correspondence in conjunction with the studio’s birthday. The exhibit will run January 6-February 5 in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery.

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OSCARS: 10 Animated Shorts Advance

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards®. Forty-four pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:

Dimanche/Sunday, Patrick Doyon, director (National Film Board of Canada)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, directors (Moonbot Studios LA, LLC)
I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, Matthew O’Callaghan, director and Sam Register, executive producer (Warner Bros. Animation Inc.)
La Luna, Enrico Casarosa, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
Luminaris, Juan Pablo Zaramella, director (JPZtudio)
Magic Piano, Martin Clapp, director and Hugh Welchman, producer (BreakThru Films)
A Morning Stroll, Grant Orchard, director and Sue Goffe, producer (Studio AKA)
Paths of Hate, Damian Nenow, director (Platige Image)
Specky Four-Eyes, Jean-Claude Rozec, director and Mathieu Courtois, producer (Vivement Lundi!)
Wild Life, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, directors (National Film Board of Canada)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting in screenings held in New York and Los Angeles. Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2012.

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Student Academy Awards Open To Entries

By | Thursday December 1, 2011 @ 11:09am PST

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is now accepting entries for its 2012 Student Academy Awards competition. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal awards, along with cash prizes, may be presented to student filmmakers in the following categories: Alternative, Animation, Narrative, Documentary and Foreign Student Film.

The rules and online application forms are available at:

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OSCARS: 2011 Governors Awards – Photos

HAMMOND: An Emotional Governors Awards

J.J. Abrams, Glenn Close, John Travolta, Alec Baldwin, Larry Gordon, Rick Baker, Mary J. Blige, and Maria Shriver were some of the names who helped the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences present Honorary Awards to actor James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Smith and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. It was the Academy’s 3rd Annual Governors Awards dinner last night at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. Photos on next page: Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE! Brian Grazer Telling Hollywood He Will Produce Oscars & Looking For Host

Brian Grazer Will Step In To Produce 84th Academy Awards
Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer

WEDNESDAY 3:50 PM, 3RD UPDATE: The Academy Of Motion Pictures & Arts Sciences just made it official.

3:30 PM, 2ND UPDATE: Imagine Entertainment is confirming that Brian Grazer will produce the 84th Academy Awards with Don Mischer. Still no official AMPAS announcement, though. And there’s more news on this fast-breaking story: As much as the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hoped that Eddie Murphy would reconsider his exit as host, insiders tell me that Brian Grazer has moved on this afternoon. ”We are not going back to him. No way,” I’m told.

2 PM, UPDATE from Nikki Finke: I have just learned that Brian Grazer was offered and has accepted to produce the 84th Academy Awards. Nothing has been announced yet, but Grazer is telling Hollywood that he’s committed to the gig. The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences owes Brian big-time for stepping into the breach left when Brett Ratner exited because of the scandal which the director had created around himself. Immediately, Grazer began calling around town looking for the Oscar host (see HAMMOND: Eddie’s Exit Throws Oscars Into Further Chaos; So Who Should Host Now?) and speed-dialed the top agencies checking availabilities for big talent. But the Academy still wants Eddie Murphy to host, and Grazer is tasked with first trying to convince the actor to do it. Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment produced Tower Heist, which Ratner directed and co-stars Murphy. If anyone can get Eddie back in, it’s Brian. For Grazer to take on the Oscars demonstrates a dedication to the movie community that I hope the Academy won’t soon forget. Grazer’s name frequently comes up for the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award, the most coveted Oscar honor for anyone in Hollywood, and almost received it for the 76th annual Oscars. So maybe sooner rather than later it should be Grazer’s turn for the Thalberg. I say give it to him next year.

11 AM, Mike Fleming reports: Right now, the Academy Awards are still in disarray, but a name that is making the rounds is Brian Grazer as a potential replacement for Brett Ratner. This is unconfirmed and might have made more sense when Eddie Murphy was still the host. Read More »

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OSCARS: Eddie Murphy Pulls Out As Host

HAMMOND: Murphy Exit Throws Oscars Into Further Chaos
Will The Academy Consider Brian Grazer?
HAMMOND: Oscars Post-Ratner – What Now?
SHOCKER! Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer
Eddie Murphy Agrees To Host Oscars; Producers Tell Film Academy It’s Official

UPDATED: Only three months before the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and ABC are almost back to square one. Hours after Brett Ratner tendered his resignation as Oscar producer in the fallout of racy-bordering-on-vulgar public comments and the use of an anti-gay slur, Eddie Murphy has stepped down as host. The move is not entirely unexpected given that Ratner was the one who brought in his Tower Heist star Murphy, and Deadline noted that Ratner’s exit Tuesday gave Murphy the perfect chance to bow out. But it still gives the Academy a big headache having to replace a producer and now a host only three months before the February 26 Academy Awards ceremony. On the other hand, Murphy’s acceptance of the gig was abnormally early. With the two departures, the only key member of the creative team remaining in place is veteran TV producer Don Mischer, who had been originally paired with Ratner. As for potential replacements, Brian Grazer, who produced Tower Heist, is being rumored as a candidate to succeed Ratner. Here is AMPAS’ statement on Murphy’s departure:

Beverly Hills, CA – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced that Eddie Murphy has withdrawn as host of the 84th Academy Awards. “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” said Sherak.

Commented Murphy, “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Read More »

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SHOCKER! Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer

Mike Fleming

Brett Ratner Explains His Oscar Resignation
Academy Statement On Brett Ratner’s Resignation
HAMMOND: Oscars Post-Ratner – What Now?
Brett Ratner Told Oscar Duo: “I Can Do This”

UPDATE: The Academy is not commenting beyond the statement it issued about Brett Ratner’s resignation, but I’m told that a search will begin quickly for another producer to join Don Mischer in putting together the Oscarcast. The expectation is at the moment is that Eddie Murphy will hang in as Oscar host. It is also clear that while AMPAS president Tom Sherak pledged to back Ratner as long as he didn’t screw up again, a chorus of Academy members, actors and filmmakers were so upset by Ratner’s homophobic comment and his lewd comments on the Howard Stern radio show that the Academy was under extreme pressure to drop him.

EARLIER: Brett Ratner has stepped down as Oscar producer, after a slew of dumb public statements that put the Academy in a terrible situation. This comes hours after Academy president Tom Sherak said he was standing behind Ratner despite his using the word “fag” in a Q&A to promote Tower Heist, and speaking graphically about his sex life on the cable TV show Attack of the Show and also in a phone interview with the Howard Stern show. From what I’m told, the Academy board met and backed Sherak’s decision to stand behind Ratner, but the filmmakers finally threw in the towel. I doubt anybody tried to talk him out of it. Now, the biggest question is: Will Eddie Murphy stay on as Oscar host? I wouldn’t be surprised that after Tower Heist‘s lackluster box office and all this maelstrom, Murphy might wonder why he ever said yes in the first place, and he has a perfect out. The other question is, who will become the new Oscar producer? The Academy will make its list quickly. I’m told that they were looking closely at New York stage producer Scott Sanders before they made the surprising decision to give the job to Ratner. Maybe they will go back to him or one of the other producers who’ve done the show before, a list that includes Joe Roth and Laurence Mark. Read More »

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Academy’s Statement On Brett Ratner’s Resignation

SHOCKER! Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer
Brett Ratner Explains His Oscar Resignation

Beverly Hills, CA – This morning, Brett Ratner submitted his resignation as a producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards to Academy President Tom Sherak. Ratner then issued an open letter to the entertainment industry in which he explained his decision.

“He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Sherak said. “Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent.”

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OSCARS: Melissa Watkins Trueblood Named Talent Producer; Danette Herman To Consult

Beverly Hills, CA – Melissa Watkins Trueblood has been named talent producer for the 84th Academy Awards, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be her first association with the Oscar telecast. In addition, Danette Herman has signed on to consult for the 84th and 85th shows. Trueblood has served as a co-producer or talent producer on numerous awards shows, recently serving as co-producer for “The 63rd Primetime Emmy® Awards.” Her other credits include the American Music Awards, the Golden Globe® Awards, the People’s Choice Awards and the World Music Awards. Herman, who was coordinating producer for the 83rd Academy Awards® telecast, has served in various producing and executive capacities on Oscar shows over the years. In 2010 she was co-producer of the Academy’s 2nd Annual Governors Awards. Her other credits include The Kennedy Center Honors, the Primetime Emmy Awards and “Stand Up to Cancer.”

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OSCARS: Academy To Launch Governors Awards Film Fest With Oprah And ‘Exorcist’

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: The American Film Institute’s AFI Fest that gets underway on November 3 isn’t the only big movie organization with a festival in the next couple of weeks. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is giving it some competition and getting into the act promoting the third annual Governors Awards on November 12 by launching their first-ever Governors Awards Film Series, set for November 9-11 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Let’s just call it the Govs Fest.

Bringing attention to the three Honorary Oscar winners this year, the Academy will devote one night to each of them in the run-up to the big event. Each evening will be highlighted by a screening of one of their most significant film accomplishments and remarks from colleagues.

For Honorary Award recipient Dick Smith, the Acad is showing a newly restored digital version of the director’s cut of The Exorcist, perhaps the make-up wizard’s most famous work in which he transformed Linda Blair into the epitome of Satan. The Acad could have chosen Amadeus, which actually won Smith his only previous Oscar in 1984 for Best Makeup, or even The Godfather or Taxi Driver, but this is the way to go. You can bet if the Makeup category actually existed in 1973 when the William Friedkin film was released, it would have easily taken the prize (the Makeup category was not created until 1981). It will screen on Wednesday, November 9 with an introduction from Academy Governor Leonard Engelman and remarks from special guests including seven-time Oscar-winning makeup artist Rick Baker and the film’s cinematographer Owen Roizman. Smith will also be at the screening. Read More »

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