Oscar voters are predominantly old white men. This year’s very white and male-dominated Oscars were an ugly reminder of the Academy’s lopsided constituency. This year, women in Hollywood are doing their damnedest to shake things up and diversify the voting scene — and hopefully add some gender and racial diversity to the group behind the industry’s most prestigious and visible awards.
A record-breaking number of women and minorities are in the running this year for seats on the Academy’s board of governers. As the Hollywood Reporter explains, “Each of the branches of the Academy’s board is represented by three governors, elected by that particular branch’s members. Every year, one of the three seats allotted to each branch comes up for election. Up to four candidates can run for each open seat.”
“Selma” director Ava DuVernay, who was famously and egregiously snubbed at this year’s ceremony, is challenging incumbent Michael Mann for the position of directors branch representative. Women account for three of the four spots on the directors ballot — in addition to DuVernay, the two other women in contention are Lisa Cholodenko and Kimberly Peirce — and in several other branch elections as well.
In one branch, women occupy all four spots on the ballot: the one representing costume designers. Other women vying for spots on the board of governors include Rory Kennedy (“Last Days of Vietnam”) in the documentary branch, Amy Madigan (“Field of Dreams”) in the actors branch and Carol Littleton (“Country Strong”) in the film editors branch.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that “under the leadership of current president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an African-American woman who has served two one-year terms in the top post, and CEO Dawn Hudson, there have been concerted efforts to diversify the Academy. This year’s roster of newly-invited members, which will be made public on Friday, is expected to reflect these efforts as well.” We sure hope so.
See the complete list of candidates, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:
Actors — Tom Hanks (incumbent), Amy Madigan and Edward James Olmos
Casting Directors — Denice Chamian, Nancy Foy, Margery Simkin and Bernard Telsey (incumbent)
Cinematographers (Dante Spinotti, the incumbant, is not seeking re-election) — Richard Crudo (a former board member seeking to return to the board), Guillermo Navarro, Daryn Okada andMandy Walker
Costume Designers — Ruth Carter, Deborah Nadoolman Landis (incumbent), Ellen Mirojnick andJulie Weiss
Designers — Jim Bissell (incumbent), Nathan Crowley, Tom Dussield and Ed Veloreaux
Directors — Ava DuVernay, Michael Mann (incumbent), Kimberly Peirce and Lisa Cholodenko
Documentary (Rob Epstein, the incumbent, has termed out) — Orlando Bagwell, Karen Goodman,Davis Guggenheim, Rory Kennedy
Executives — Dick Cook (incumbent and current Academy treasurer), Jim Gianopulos (a former board member looking to return after terming out in 2013), Lucy Fisher, Stacey Snider
Film Editors (Mark Goldblatt, the incumbent, has termed out) — Maryanne Brandon, Carol Littleton, Stephen Rivkin and Terilyn A. Shropshire
Makeup Artists/Hairstylists (Leonard Engelman, the incumbent, has termed out) — Howard Berger, Lois Burwell, Donald Mowat and Robert Ryan
Music — Marco Beltrami, Michael Giacchino, Arthur Hamilton (incumbent) and Patrick Williams
Producers — Stephanie Allain, Kathleen Kennedy (incumbent), Hawk Koch (a past Academy president seeking to return to the board) and Jennifer Todd
Public Relations — Rob Friedman (incumbent), Marvin Levy, Terry Press and Dawn Taubin
Short Films/Feature Animation — Eric Goldberg, Bill Kroyer (incumbent), Bob Kurtz and Theresa Wiseman
Sound — Paul Massey, Scott Millan (incumbent), Andy Nelson and Gary Rydstrom
Visual Effects — Peter Anderson, Craig Barron, Thaddeus Beier and John Knoll (incumbent),
Writers (Bill Condon, the incumbent, is not seeking re-election) — Larry Karaszewski, Billy Ray, James Schamus and Dana Stevens
[via The Hollywood Reporter]