Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oscar Bits & Bites: New Academy President, Captain Phillips Opens NYFF, Casting Director Branch

Three bits of information that I missed yesterday, but are nevertheless important:

  • The third woman in its history, Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been announced as the new President of AMPAS. She is a governor from the Public Relations Branch, and produced the 2012 Governor Awards. She is also the first African American woman to serve in this position, which is incredibly awesome, and also a sign that the Academy's effort to diversify are paying off. Congratulations to Isaacs, and I will hopefully see you on Academy nomination morning!
  • NYFF has had some high profile Oscar contenders open its fest the last couple of years. This year it looks like they have pulled another coup, with the selection of Paul Greengrass'  Captain Phillips. It is the story of the American captain whose ship was captured by Somali pirates, and stars Tom Hanks and Catherine Keener. It is sure to be a big Oscar contender come September.
  • For years, casting directors have simply been invited under the umbrella of "Members-at-Large. Today, the Academy announced that they are creating a separate branch for its many talented casting directors. If this is the direction, and the type of leadership that Isaacs is going to bring to the Academy, then I am all for it. I like this move, I think it is only fair considering how important casting directors are to the film process, and deserve some recognition for their efforts. This move is a step in the right direction.

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