Backstage at The Oscars

newsblaze logo

By Bruce Edwin

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on August 5th by the organization’s Board of Governors. In addition, Jeffrey Kurland was elected first vice president, Leonard Engelman and John Bailey were elected to vice president posts, Dick Cook was elected treasurer, and Bill Kroyer was elected secretary.

Ms. Boone Isaacs is beginning her second term as president and her 22nd year as a governor representing the Public Relations Branch. Last year Kurland served as vice president. Both Engelman and Cook were re-elected to their posts. These will be the first officer stints for Mr. Bailey and Mr. Kroyer.

Ms. Boone Isaacs currently heads CBI Enterprises, Inc., where she has consulted on marketing efforts on such films as The Call, The Artist, The King’s Speech, Precious (based on the Novel Push by Sapphire), Spider-Man 2 and Tupac: Resurrection. Ms. Boone Isaacs previously served as president of theatrical marketing for New Line Cinema, where she oversaw numerous box office successes, including Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Rush Hour. Prior to joining New Line in 1997, she was executive vice president of worldwide publicity for Paramount Pictures, where she orchestrated publicity campaigns for the Best Picture winners Forrest Gump and Braveheart. The Hollywood Sentinel's Bruce Edwin states, "I had the pleasure to see and hear Ms. Boone Isaacs at the memorial for A.C. Lyles at Paramount earlier last year. She is a kind, good-natured person who has a long lasting love and passion for our industry of movie making. We congratulate her on her continued success." This year, Ms. Boone Isaacs was inducted into the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Hall of Fame, and received the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Horizon Award and the 2014 Trailblazer award from Essence magazine. Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office.

In other Acamdey news, The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted on August 26th to present Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Harry Belafonte. All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 8th, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. "The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November."

Jean-Claude Carrière, who began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Étaix, with whom he shared an Oscar for the live action short subject Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary) in 1962. He received two more nominations during his nearly two-decade collaboration with director Luis Buñuel, for the screenplays for The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and That Obscure Object of Desire. Mr. Carrière also has collaborated notably with directors including Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum), Jean-Luc Godard (Every Man for Himself), and Andrzej Wajda (Danton). Jean-Claude earned a fourth Oscar nomination for The Unbearable Lightness of Being with director Philip Kaufman.

Hayao Miyazaki is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for Spirited Away. His other nominations were for Howl’s Moving Castle in 2005 and The Wind Rises last year. Mr. Miyazaki gained an enormous following in his native Japan for features including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service before breaking out internationally in the late 1990s with Princess Mononoke. He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.

Maureen O’Hara, a native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She went on to appear in a wide range of feature films, including swashbucklers The Black Swan and Sinbad the Sailor, dramas This Land Is Mine and A Woman’s Secret, family classics Miracle on 34th Street and The Parent Trap, spy comedy Our Man in Havana and numerous Westerns among more. She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including How Green Was My Valley, Rio Grande and The Quiet Man.

An actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, Harrry Belafonte began performing in theaters and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born. From the beginning of his film career, he chose projects that shed needed light on racism and inequality, including Carmen Jones, Odds against Tomorrow and The World, the Flesh and the Devil. He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, marching and organizing alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and often funding initiatives with his entertainment income. Harry Belafonte was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies. His civil rights and charitable work has taken him to many places around the world.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given "to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy." The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given "to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry."


The 2014 HollyShorts Awards were announced August 21st during a special standing room-only reception at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, home of the 1st Oscars ceremony. The evening was hosted by Alicia Malone and Amy Paffrath. At the top of the show, festival founders announced the 11th annual HollyShorts would take place August 13-22, 2015 in Hollywood.

The event kicked off with Felicia Day being presented with the inaugural HollyShorts 2014 Digital Icon Award in front of the audience, which consisted of 1,000 filmmakers from the festival, industry professionals and short form content enthusiasts. Company 3 Awarded $40,000 in production prizes and Method Studios presented a $10,000 VFX prize. The coveted Best Short Film Award went to Francois Jaros for Toutes Des Connes. With the win Jaros took home a $15,000 production prize from Company 3. Best Director went to Una Gunjak for The Chicken. Gunjak took home a $10,000 prize from Company 3.

The Method Studios Best VFX Award went to Looking Planet by Eric Law Anderson. Best Music Video went to Jacob Lundgaard for As Long As You Watch My Heart. Best Cinematography went to The Landing by Josh Tanner. Best Animation went to Interview by Mikkel Okholm. Best comedy went to #Twitter Kills by brett sorem. Best International went to Kosmodrome by Youcef Mahmoudi. Best Horror went to Drudge by Kheireddine El-Helou. Best Documentary went to Herd in Iceland by Lindsay Blatt. The Panavision Future Filmmaker Award went to Douglas Jessup for Glow. Best Student went to Sweet Corn by Joo Hyun Lee.

HollyShorts also presented the winner of its first ever screenplay competition. Mimi Jeffries took the top prize for her short script Open Roads. With the win, Seattle-based production company Evil Slave has optioned the project and will shoot the short with the goal to premiere it at next year’s HollyShorts. The festival ran through Saturday August 23rd, 2014. The final additional competition awarded, the HollyShorts Vine competition with Eli Roth’s The Crypt App, which challenges filmmakers to create scary vines and tag HSFF14 were announced during the fests closing party on Saturday at Busby’s East.

Holly Shorts 2014

Review by Bruce Edwin

Points of Origin by Anaya Lela was a well done drama leading one to think about surrogate parenthood and how some women may do this for money, which leads to the debate of exploitation in this regard. Transit by Sarah Mintz was well shot and entertaining, about a female drifter. Out of Love by Jon Ryan Sugimoto was entertaining, about a man who gets mugged after trying to go to a hooker. Today's the Day by Daniel Campos had a cameo by Danny Devito, and was an expertly shot and directed musical that was very fun to watch, about an intern working at a talent agency dreaming of being a star dancer who finally gets his big break from the power agent played by DeVito.

Bulimia: The Musical was the best film I saw at the festival this year, by Kristin McCasey; a hilarous, brilliant, dark musical comedy in the style of Beetle Juice about eating disorders and why women should not starve themselves. 5 Second Films' Breakfast of Champions by Ben Slatkin were also hilarious, and crude. Artful Gambit by Sigurd Culhane was beautifully shot, with some great looking talent. Trunk by Matthew Szewczyk was a well done mystery. Destroy the Alpha Gammas by Scott Brown was a well shot and entertaining comedic musical, though could be largely called sexist by some.

Far by Brian Crewe was my second favorite here, a poetic and very well done light romantic comedy about a man who dates a women who ends up being a visitor from outer space, which has some superb acting, pacing, directing, and nice special effects. Water by Kendall Goldberg had some nice cinematography. The Show Must Go On by Jason Heinrich was also nicely shot, directed, and acted, with some good moments, about a girl whose grows up in the circus, and wants to run away to join a university, and a defense of 'freaks.' I Remember You by John Michael Kennedy is a dark, touching, poetic film about a sons love for his father who is on his last day. Karaganda was a very well done, dark, black and white film by Max Weissberg (AFI) about a Soviet prisoner and the terrible choice he must make to try and see his lost love.

What Cheer by Michael Slavens was my third favorite, a brilliant musical comedy-drama, about a composer who loses his loved one and is haunted by a full horn section that follows him around, which delivers some brilliant original musical numbers. Thomas by Alexandre Martins was a well acted, entertaining, if not disturbing film about a boy who murders a man, and whose abusive father takes the blame for it, covering it up. Out to Lunch by Nic Reader seemed to me to glorify murder, which is graphically depicted, with a heavyset women next to me laughing about the murder (while no one else in the theatre laughed) at which I promptly moved. Blackout by Alana Waksman was a very well done film with cool music, about a female punk singer and drummer who is battling alcoholism and growing older. Holly Shorts is simply full of many, many films, and many which are highly entertaining and well worth seeing. I look forward to it each year and commend the producers of the festival and the filmmakers on another great success.

Living dot Com

The film Living Dot Com also premiered in Hollywood this summer, with the red carpet event and premiere produced by the same great folks that brought us Holly Shorts. This fascinating documentary is about the new wave of Internet millionaires. The movie and event, which featured a slew of Internet millionaires and their posse and fans, does still, as reported earlier this summer in News Blaze, still have a small, tight and very smart circle in Hollywood still talking about the film and its stars, and even making connections from the Living Dot Com Summit And World Premiere, that happened that day at the legendary Writers Guild Theatre here in Los Angeles, this May 31st, 2014.

In case you did not hear, despite the Dot com bubble that burst in 2000 and 2001, today's dot com scene has a new pack of multi-millionaires leading the wave of success online. Living Dot Com is the new documentary feature film, which interestingly explores the lives of some of the world's most successful Internet entrepreneurs. The world premiere for the film happened at the WGA Theatre to a packed house in May 2014.

In case you missed the News Blaze story, the film's Producers teamed up with ClickBank to make the event the Living Dot Com Digital Summit, an afternoon and evening of networking, celebrity red carpet, screening, a panel discussion with some of the most successful online entrepreneurs and pioneers profiled in the film. The highly successful and entertaining event was immediately followed by an invite-only reception, with endless free gourmet food for all invitees. The panel was moderated by TV Web Producer and Host Erin Darling.

Talent who attended the event included Enid Cortes (MTV's Girl Code) Playboy Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun, Kristina Anapau (True Blood, pictured above), Moira Cue (fine artist and actress), Jordan Crawford (Golden State Warriors), Lou Volpe (Clint Eastwood film Jersey Boys), Breeda Wool (Lifetime's upcoming series Un-Real), YouTube star Timothy Delaghetto (with over 2 million subscribers), Sarah Lynn Dawson (the upcoming prologue Duality narrated by Deepak Chopra), Donya Fiorentino, media including The Hollywood Sentinel (dot com) and NewsBlaze (dot com), and many more.

Living Dot Com features some of the most prominent and successful internet entrepreneurs including: seven figure blogger Jeni Larson, super affiliate Zac Johnson, Mixergy dotcom founder Andrew Warner, serial entrepreneur Peter Nguyen (thirteen online companies), power blogger John Chow, Dave Ruel (The Muscle Cookbook), Adam Horwitz and Justin Atlan of ClickBank University, and Peerfly founder Chad French. The film also features UCLA expert professor of economics and statistics Dr. Edward Leamer and CEO of ClickBank Matt Hulett.

An exciting event (expertly produced by Dumont Marketing) that truly set itself apart as one of the more high caliber premieres of Hollywood; The Living Dot Com film premiere, digital summit, and after party was truly an exciting, unique night out in a town that has usually seen it all. And, with a subject matter that is not only fascinating, but crucial to most anyone on the planet; computers and making money, it is a film that should receive interest from all.


Woman: A Celebration, edited by Peter Fetterman, Hardback photo art book, magenta and predominately black white, 120 images, approximately 8 and 1/2 inches by 6 and 1/4 inches. This is very fine little photo art book here, given to me by Peter Fetterman himself (fine art photography dealer who put together this book of some of his collection). The only thing missing from this book is any text regarding each image. With these great images however, the pictures are enough, although having read the introduction by Peter, his writing of his beloved subject here is notable and of interest, so his words certainly would have lent themselves well to further statements throughout the book. I also wonder what size the original images were blown up to. These images are quite small re-prints, ranging at around 4x6 inches. The foreword of the book here is written by actress Whoopi Goldberg, which, while not a scholarly discourse, is at least entertaining. It is after all, the talented and cool Whoopi Goldberg, a friend of the editor here, who has also has a very fine photography studio in Santa Monica, California. $22.95 through Chronicle Books.

This story is ©2014 AMPAS, Academy content, with the remainder ©, 2014, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.