The new members announced today after voting are re-upped for three-year terms. This comes ahead of the August 5 board meeting to elect the Academy’s officers. On that ballot will be current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is up for her second of a potential four one-year terms and is expected to be re-upped. Isaacs, from the Public Relations Branch, was among the eight governors re-elected today, a list that includes Academy Secretary Phil Robinson (Writers Branch) ; five new first-timers were also voted in. Here’s the release:
The Board Of Governors of the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Tuesday night renewed, as expected, CEO Dawn Hudson‘s contract for 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. 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.
OSCARS: Academy Makes History Sending Screeners And Opening Voting In All 24 Categories To Every Member For The First Time
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is jumping into the screener business. Big time. DVDs for Animated, Live Action and Documentary Shorts as well as Feature Documentary and for the first time, Foreign Language Film nominees are officially on their way to all 6,028 eligible voting members, according to an email sent to the membership Thursday afternoon from President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. So the Academy will soon have another 25 nominated films of various lengths to check out before casting their ballots. Voting opens next Friday and continues through February 25th.
Although most Oscar voters are inundated with DVD screeners of movies during awards season, the Academy itself has always turned its back on the process refusing to provide studios and distributors with addresses of their members. Those companies have to get that information on their own and consultants with the goods make a lot of money. It’s certainly true that the Academy doesn’t prohibit the practice, which has obviously been in place for years, but they have never officially encouraged it, correctly preferring to urge members to try and see the films on the big screen if at all possible. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, on the other hand, actually facilitates mailing of Emmy screeners for networks and studios by providing a complete list of TV Academy members to …
OSCARS SCANDAL: ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Writer Calls Out Academy President For What He Says Is “Breach Of The Same Standard”
Bruce Broughton is hitting back. The composer, whose title song from Alone Yet Not Alone received an Oscar nom but later was disqualified because of improper campaigning, penned a letter Thursday to Academy Director of Communications Teni Melidonian and CEO Dawn Hudson. And today — hours after the Academy issued its latest statement on the matter — Broughton’s PR guy Ray Costa made it an open letter.
Broughton calls attention to Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs‘ role as a head of CBI Enterprises. As stated in her bio on the Oscars website, which was part of the press release the Academy sent out announcing her election in July, she served as a consultant on films including eventual Best Picture winners The Artist and The King’s Speech.
Safe to say this probably won’t be the last we hear of this.
Here’s the full letter:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Actor Chris Hemsworth and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs will announce the 86th Academy Awards® nominations on Thursday, January 16. The Oscars® will air Sunday, March 2, 2014, live on ABC. Boone Isaacs and Hemsworth will unveil the nominations at a 5:38 a.m. PT live news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Hemsworth made his feature film debut in 2009’s “Star Trek,” but it was his title role in “Thor” two years later that propelled him to worldwide prominence. He reprised the character in the Marvel blockbusters “The Avengers” and “Thor: The Dark World.” Hemsworth’s other feature credits include “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Rush,” and he has starring roles in “Cyber” and “In the Heart of the Sea,” both due out next year.
OSCARS: Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs Reflects And Looks Ahead With Focus On Education And Diversity
David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.
Papal elections have nothing on the secrecy surrounding the selection of presidents for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The absence of white smoke notwithstanding, what goes on behind those closed doors? But the elevation of Cheryl Boone Isaacs to the Academy’s top spot in July has generated only acclamation. There are two important reasons for this: With decades in the industry and years of devoted service to AMPAS, Boone Isaacs is well qualified to lead the Academy as it faces new challenges. And because she is both African-American and a woman, she is a uniquely visible symbol of the organization’s stated commitment to diversity.
“It feels great, absolutely wonderful,” Boone Isaacs says about her election, sitting outside the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “I’ve been involved here for a long time. This is a terrific organization, which is constantly changing and evolving. I’ve loved movies my whole life—as have most of us in this business.”
Though it’s still early into her presidency, Boone Isaacs already is focused on increasing member engagement and expanding the Academy’s youth education initiatives. “Young folks know actors, but they don’t really understand the collaboration and community it takes to produce a motion picture—and the job opportunities there are. It also helps them see movies in a different way—appreciating the collaboration and what it takes to achieve the look and sound of a film,” she explains.
With recipients like Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Angelina Jolie, and legendary Italian costume designer Piero Tosi, this November 16th Governors Awards promises to be the starriest of all four held to date. One new Governor who had received the briefing book on those being considered told me last week that the list ran from big stars to names they had never heard of. Looks like the Academy’s Board of Governors decided to go with the “big names”. But as Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs just told me, “it’s a wide range of talent from many different aspects of filmmaking”.
Jolie’s Hersholt award is richly deserved. Some might be surprised to see her getting this honor at such a young age, and at 38 she is the youngest recipient of this award and the youngest recipient of a Governors Award since their inception. Her tireless globetrotting humanitarian efforts are a remarkable example for other actors of her generation and it’s nice the Academy decided to recognize them.
“Below-the-line” trumping “above-the-line”? Was that the real story behind the story in this week’s historic election of Cheryl Boone Isaacs as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the first African American and only the third woman to win the prestigious post? I heard this theory from a very above-the-line member of the Academy’s Board Of Governors who suggests privately that it was the below-the-line Governors who made it happen. Of course, the Academy doesn’t reveal vote totals for any of their elections (including the Oscars). Nor demographic breakdowns of those votes. However, an electoral triumph powered by the below-the-line members of the Board would not be surprising.
The fact is the Motion Picture Academy’s Board Of Governors, along with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Board Of Governors, are in terms of sheer numbers dominated by what the industry fondly refers to as below-the-line Governors. Other than the marquee actors, writers, directors, producers and executive branches, the movie academy’s below-the-line representation on the board far outnumbers the above-the-liners by a margin of more than 3-to-1. And that will only increase once the three Governors for the newly approved Casting Directors branch are elected this Fall, bringing the total number of Govs to 51. Actors, directors and powerful executives (i.e. studio heads) may be higher profile, but their branch is given the exact same number of Governors – and votes – as any other. This …
In the end it probably was not too surprising that Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences at last night’s Board of Governors meeting. As I pointed out in my election preview last week, she is the only one in Academy history to have served in every elected office the Academy has – VP, Treasurer, Secretary, Academy Foundation President, First Vice President most recently, and even produced last year’s Governors Awards. That the Board essentially elevated her up one notch to President after her 21 years of service seems a natural. Then again it doesn’t always go down the “natural” way in show business.
But of course her election is historic for another reason. She becomes only the third woman (after Fay Kanin and a combative two-week stint in 1941 for Bette Davis) and first African-American to become Academy President. Much is being made in the media of the latter distinction, but Boone Isaacs just shrugs it off. With Dawn Hudson as CEO and now Boone Isaacs as President, plus a record 14 women on the Board Of Governors and a meaningful drive toward diversity in the overall membership, it is going to be harder than ever for critics to haul out the usual ‘It’s just an old white man’s club’ description when talking about this new age Academy, even though it is a long way from completely changing its image. But I think more than anything Boone Isaac’s election is a vote for stability in an organization trying to come to grips with a changing business and world. She’s a familiar face, and well-liked within the Academy and that goes a long way in this prestigious position she has now inherited from outgoing one-term President Hawk Koch. When I spoke to Boone Isaacs this morning she was basking in the glory of her election, but definitely looking to the future.
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 Sciences‘ newly 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: