Academy Announces 2020 Grant Recipients

he Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the 96 recipients of its 2020 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants, including recipients of the emergency grant funds announced last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the grants, which total a combined $2.5 million in funds, are awarded based on current need to organizations that support filmmakers and reach audiences from underserved communities.

“The Academy’s first priority remains to help those in our film community most impacted by the current global crisis. Our contribution of $2 million in emergency funds to the Academy Foundation, along with the grants we bestow on an annual basis, will surely benefit struggling organizations so they may continue to encourage diverse storytelling and enrich cinema and its artists,” said Academy governor and Education Committee chair Nancy Utley.

“The Academy’s Grants committee is honored to continue to provide much-needed support to these 96 worthy organizations – their impact on the world of film is truly immeasurable,” said Marcus Hu, chair of the Grants committee.

Grants range from $5,000-$200,000. Recipient institutions and programs are as follows:

  • African Diaspora Film Festival, Inc. (New York, NY)
  • African Film Festival (New York, NY)
  • American Museum of Natural History/Margaret Mead Film Festival (New York, NY)
  • American Film Institute (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Arabian Sights Film Festival/Filmfest DC (Washington, DC)
  • Art-House America Campaign (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Asian CineVision/43rd Asian American International Film Festival (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Asian Culture and Media Alliance (San Diego, CA)
  • Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) (Atlanta, GA)
  • Austin Film Society (Austin, TX)
  • Barnard College/Athena Film Festival (New York, NY)
  • Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA)
  • Berkshire International Film Festival (Great Barrington, MA)
  • Big Sky Film Institute/Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Missoula, MT)
  • BlackStar Film Festival (Philadelphia, PA)
  • California Institute of the Arts (Santa Clarita, CA)
  • Center for Asian American Media/CAAMFest (San Francisco, CA)
  • Center for Documentary Studies/Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (Durham, NC)
  • Chicago Filmmakers (Chicago, IL)
  • Chicago International Film Festival/Cinema/Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Chicago Latino Film Festival (Chicago, IL)
  • Chicken & Egg Pictures (Brooklyn, NY & San Francisco, CA)
  • Cinema Tropical (New York, NY)
  • Cine Qua Non Lab (Morelia, Mexico)
  • Columbia Film Society (Columbia, SC)
  • Dance Theatre Etcetera (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Diamond in the Raw (Culver City, CA)
  • Documental Ambulante AC (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Dreaming Tree Foundation (Rock Island, IL)
  • Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Educational Video Center (New York, NY)
  • Exceptional Minds (Sherman Oaks, CA)
  • Facets/Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (Chicago, IL)
  • Film Independent (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Film Society of Lincoln Center (New York, NY)
  • The Film Society of Minneapolis-St. Paul (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Firelight Media (New York, NY)
  • The Flaherty Film Seminar/International Film Seminars Inc. (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Frameline (San Francisco, CA)
  • GALA Inc. (Grupo de Artistas LatinoAmericanos) (Washington, DC)
  • George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY)
  • Ghetto Film School (Bronx, NY & Los Angeles, CA)
  • GLAS Animation/GLAS Animation Festival (Berkeley, CA)
  • Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)
  • Independent Feature Project (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Indie Memphis (Memphis, TN)
  • Indigenous Showcase (Seattle, WA)
  • Inner-City Arts (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Inner-City Filmmakers (Santa Monica, CA)
  • International Documentary Association (Los Angeles, CA)
  • International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management/Indigenous Film & Arts Festival (Denver, CO)
  • Internews Network/FilmAid (Arcata, CA; Washington, DC; London & Paris)
  • Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY)
  • Jewish Film Institute/San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (San Francisco, CA)
  • Kartemquin Films (Chicago, IL)
  • Los Angeles Filmforum (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Maysles Institute (New York, NY)
  • Media Arts Center San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • Media City Film Festival (Windsor, Ontario)
  • Mizna’s Twin Cities Arab Film Festival (St. Paul, MN)
  • Montclair State University Foundation (Montclair, NJ)
  • Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria, NY)
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council (Washington, DC)
  • National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) (Culver City, CA)
  • New Orleans Film Society (New Orleans, LA)
  • New York Asian Film Foundation/New York Asian Film Festival (New York, NY)
  • New York Women in Film & Television (New York, NY)
  • Newfest (New York, NY)
  • Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA)
  • Outfest (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Points North Institute/Camden International Film Festival (Camden, ME)
  • Portland Community Media (Portland, OR)
  • Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (San Francisco, CA)
  • Ragtag Film Society/True/False Film Fest (Columbia, MO)
  • Raw Art Works’ Real to Reel (R2R) Film School (Lynn, MA)
  • Reel Abilities NY (New York, NY)
  • Reel Works (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Rosendale Theatre Collective: Women in Experiment Schneemann/Hammer (Rosendale, NY)
  • SFFILM (San Francisco, CA)
  • SIFF (Seattle, WA)
  • San Francisco Cinematheque (San Francisco, CA)
  • San Francisco Silent Film Festival (San Francisco, CA)
  • Scribe Video Center (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Sedona International Film Festival (Sedona, AZ)
  • Silver Bullet Productions (Santa Fe, NM)
  • Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian/Native Cinema Showcase (New York, NY & Santa Fe, NM)
  • Streetlights (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Sundance Institute (Los Angeles, CA & Park City, Utah)
  • Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, ON)
  • UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Utah Film Center/Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Venice Arts (Marina del Rey, CA)
  • Visual Communications Media/Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Women In Film (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Women Make Movies (New York, NY)

The Academy’s FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants were established to identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists.

The Academy Grants program provides financial support to qualifying film festivals, educational institutions and film scholars and has awarded more than $15 million since 1968.


Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures Reaches 95% Of Campaign Fundraising Goal

New and Increased Leadership Gifts from Barbra Streisand, East West Bank, PwC, Steve Tisch, Bob Iger and Willow Bay, The Ahmanson Foundation, Cinépolis, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis, and Miky Lee/CJ Group

Bill Kramer, Director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, today announced that the new institution has raised more than $368 million in pledges and cash, which is 95% of its $388 million pre-opening campaign goal. This total encompasses naming gifts, endowments, funding for education programs and operations, and other special gifts. The Campaign for the Academy Museum was launched in 2012, headed by chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

Now in the process of final exhibition design, build-out, and testing, the Academy Museum is scheduled to open in 2020.

Bill Kramer said, “The motion picture community and movie fans from around the world know how much the Academy Museum will mean for the global appreciation and enjoyment of the movies. We are deeply grateful to our donors and partners for their magnificent generosity. With this latest round of gifts, we are moving closer toward completing our pre-opening campaign and launching the world’s premier destination for movie lovers.”

Ron Meyer, chair of the Academy Museum Board of Trustees and Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal, said, “The Board of Trustees is tremendously thankful to the individual philanthropists, foundations, and leading corporate donors who are now among the Academy Museum’s growing community of Founding Supporters. It’s exciting to be so close to the goal.”

Named spaces now include the Barbra Streisand Bridge, the Steve Tisch Terrace, the East West Bank Gallery, which includes the Oscars Experience, and the Bob Iger and Willow Bay Terrace. PwC has named the exhibition on Academy Awards® history, and Wendy Stark of The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation has underwritten the museum’s restaurant (details to be announced). The Ahmanson Foundation has made a significant grant toward museum construction. The Roddenberry Foundation is supporting the museum’s sustainability initiatives and naming the rideshare and school bus drop-off Roddenberry Lane.

New contributors to the Pillar Campaign, co-chaired by Laura Dern and Kimberly Steward and which names the support columns in the Saban Building, include the William S. Anderson Family, museum trustee Jason Blum, Cinépolis, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis (in honor of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh), Tom Dolby, Gaumont, Iervolino Entertainment, S.p.A (Mr. Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi), museum trustee Regina Scully and her husband John Scully (in honor of Sophia Loren, Miyoshi Umeki, and Rita Moreno), Barbra Streisand, and ViacomCBS.

In addition, Miky Lee/CJ Group has made a general contribution to the museum, and Richard Roth and Jeff Skoll have both created named endowments at the museum; Skoll’s gift will underpin social impact programming.

These supporters join other generous philanthropists who have made leadership gifts to the museum, including: Cheryl and Haim Saban (Saban Building), The David Geffen Foundation (David Geffen Theater), Rolex (Rolex Gallery), Dalian Wanda Group (the Wanda Gallery), Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation in honor of Sid Ganis, Dolby Laboratories/Family of Ray Dolby (Dolby Family Terrace), The Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Company Piazza), Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery), Steven Spielberg (Spielberg Family Gallery), Shirley Temple Black and Family (Shirley Temple Education Studio), Gale Anne Hurd (Hurd Gallery), NBCUniversal, Netflix (Netflix Terrace), Participant, Cecilia DeMille Presley (Cecil B. DeMille Founders Room), Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman (Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman Terrace), The Simms/Mann Family Foundation (Ted Mann Theater), Jeff Skoll, The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, Warner Bros. Entertainment (Warner Bros. Entertainment Gallery), Wasserman Foundation (Wasserman Bridge), and Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events LLC/Compass Group USA, Inc.

Additionally, the Academy Museum’s Digital Engagement Platform is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. A post-opening campaign to raise new endowment, programming, operating, and capital funds is being planned.


Academy’s Science And Technology Council Adds 7 New Members

Bill Baggelaar, Brooke Breton, Buzz Hays, Arjun Ramamurthy, Rachel Rose, Dave Schnuelle and Mandy Walker have accepted invitations to join the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, bringing the Council’s 2019–2020 membership roster to 25.

As senior vice president, production and post-production technologies for Sony Pictures Entertainment, Baggelaar is helping to forge the future in theatrical and television production by using advanced workflows for on-set capture to post-production, digital color correction and video mastering. He has been instrumental in driving the studio’s transition to IMF (Interoperable Master Format) for 4K/UHD and HD delivery. He also is responsible for driving new technologies like high dynamic range (HDR), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) from creation to consumer delivery. Baggelaar is an Academy Member-at-Large.

Breton has served as a producer on a wide variety of technologically innovative live action and animated motion pictures and television series. Over the span of her career, she has had the opportunity to be involved with such feature films as “Avatar,” “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” “Master and Commander,” “Solaris,” “Dick Tracy” and several “Star Trek” feature films, as well as television series including “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Breton has also been instrumental in launching several important ventures in the visual effects industry, including James Cameron’s visual effects house Digital Domain and DreamWorks Animation. She is a member of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch.

Hays leads the Media and Entertainment team at Google Cloud Solutions and is a leading expert on advanced imaging production and technology in visual effects, immersive technologies (AR/VR), high frame rate (HFR), high dynamic range (HDR), and stereoscopic platforms for film, television, and gaming. Previously, he served as head of product at Lytro, a Light Field camera systems company, and as senior vice president of 3D production for Sony Corporation. At Lucasfilm, he led the research and development efforts under George Lucas at the THX Division, where he supervised the design and construction of more than 600 cinemas, screening rooms and dubbing theaters. Hays is an Academy Member-at-Large.

Ramamurthy is currently senior vice president of technology at Twentieth Century Fox/Disney. In that capacity, he is responsible for outlining and defining the next generation workflow and technology used for feature and television post-production, digital content processing, and downstream distribution and digital archiving. Ramamurthy has more than 25 years of experience in the post-production industry, having worked previously at Deluxe’s EFILM facility and at Warner Bros. in technical operations and feature animation. He is an active member of SMPTE and IEEE and has contributed to a variety of technical committees and standards. He holds several patents in the area of digital image processing and media post-production. Ramamurthy is an Academy Member-at-Large and a fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Rose, an R&D Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), drives technology that aids artists in the creation and animation of characters for feature films. In her 12 years at ILM, she has worked on a wide range of films, including “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Noah” and “Rango.” Prior to her tenure at ILM, Rose earned her Ph.D. in computer graphics animation. Her work on BlockParty, a visual, procedural rigging system, earned her a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy in 2017. She is a member of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch.

Schnuelle is vice president of technology for Dolby Laboratories, where he is responsible for guidance and outreach in Dolby’s efforts in both digital cinema and consumer imaging areas. He has received awards for the development of the Dolby Professional Reference Monitor and the Dolby 3D stereoscopic cinema system. Prior to joining Dolby Laboratories, he was director of technology for Lucasfilm Ltd.’s THX Division, where he established the THX Digital Mastering Program and designed the international digital cinema exhibitions of “Star Wars” movies “Episode 1” and “Episode 2.” Schnuelle has received five patents for his work during that period, and is active in image technology research and the perception of images. He is an Academy Member-at-Large and a fellow of Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Walker’s credits as director of photography include “The Mountain between Us,” “Hidden Figures,” “Truth,” “Australia,” “Shattered Glass” and “Lantana.” She was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Australian Cinematographers Society in 2017 and was an artist in residence at UCLA in 2015. Walker has been an Academy member since 2009 and serves as a governor of the Cinematographers Branch.

The Council co-chairs for 2019–2020 are Visual Effects Branch governor Craig Barron and Member-at-Large Annie Chang.

The Council’s 16 other returning members are David Ayer, John Bailey, Nafees Bin Zafar, Rod Bogart, Maryann Brandon, Bill Corso, Theo Gluck, Leslie Iwerks, Andrea Kalas, Academy governor John Knoll, Colette Mullenhoff, Cary Phillips, Leon Silverman, Jeffrey Taylor, Academy governor Michael Tronick and Steve Yedlin.

Established in 2003 by the Academy’s Board of Governors, the Science and Technology Council provides a forum for the exchange of information, promotes cooperation among diverse technological interests within the industry, sponsors publications, fosters educational activities, and preserves the history of the science and technology of motion pictures.


9 Scientific And Technical Areas Under Investigation For 2019

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that nine distinct scientific and technical investigations have been launched for 2019.

These investigations are made public so that individuals and companies with devices or claims of innovation within these areas will have the opportunity to submit achievements for review. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee has started investigations into the following areas:

  • Professional desktop monitors with self-calibration
  • Head-mounted facial acquisition systems
  • Wireless video transmission systems used in motion picture production
  • Frameworks enabling high-performance ray-geometry intersections
  • Hair simulation toolsets
  • Audio repair and restoration software for motion pictures
  • Automatic dialog post-synchronization systems
  • Costume, prop, hair and makeup tracking and inventory communication tools for physical production
  • Post-production tracking and scheduling systems

“The science and technology of filmmaking is constantly evolving and advancing. Each year, the Academy researches technology that has had a significant impact on the motion picture arts. This year, we are examining a distinct group of technologies, which includes hair simulation, facial capture and audio repair,” said Doug Roble, chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. The current awards cycle will commence with a series of exhaustive investigations, conducted by a committee made up of industry experts with a diversity of expertise, and culminate with the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony in June.”

The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday, September 17, at 5 p.m. PT. For more information on the Scientific and Technical Awards or to submit a similar technology, click here.

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in the spring to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.


Academy Announces Three New At-Large Governors

The Academy Board of Governors has confirmed the appointment of three new governors-at-large, DeVon Franklin (Executives Branch), Rodrigo García (Directors Branch) and Janet Yang (Producers Branch). They will each serve a three-year term, beginning July 1. This furthers the Academy’s A2020 initiative, which seeks to support inclusion and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community.

“The Board looks forward to welcoming DeVon, Janet and Rodrigo. They are each well-positioned to support our continuing global outreach efforts,” said Academy President John Bailey. “We are grateful to our three outgoing at-large governors, Gregory Nava, Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Reginald Hudlin, for their dedicated service to the Academy over the last three years.”

In addition to the governors-at-large, the Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. The Board of Governors sets the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health and assures the fulfillment of its mission.

The Academy’s 2019-2020 Board of Governors will be announced in June.