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Women Push For Seats On the Academy Board In Record-Breaking Numbers: DuVernay, Cholodenko & More

Women Push For Seats On the Academy Board In Record-Breaking Numbers: DuVernay, Cholodenko & More

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 ChamianNancy FoyMargery 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 NavarroDaryn Okada andMandy Walker

Costume Designers — Ruth CarterDeborah Nadoolman Landis (incumbent), Ellen Mirojnick andJulie Weiss

Designers — Jim Bissell (incumbent), Nathan CrowleyTom Dussield and Ed Veloreaux

Directors — Ava DuVernayMichael Mann (incumbent), Kimberly Peirce and Lisa Cholodenko

Documentary (Rob Epstein, the incumbent, has termed out) — Orlando BagwellKaren Goodman,Davis GuggenheimRory Kennedy

Executives — Dick Cook (incumbent and current Academy treasurer), Jim Gianopulos (a former board member looking to return after terming out in 2013), Lucy FisherStacey Snider

Film Editors (Mark Goldblatt, the incumbent, has termed out) — Maryanne BrandonCarol LittletonStephen Rivkin and Terilyn A. Shropshire

Makeup Artists/Hairstylists (Leonard Engelman, the incumbent, has termed out) — Howard BergerLois BurwellDonald Mowat and Robert Ryan

Music — Marco BeltramiMichael GiacchinoArthur Hamilton (incumbent) and Patrick Williams

Producers — Stephanie AllainKathleen Kennedy (incumbent), Hawk Koch (a past Academy president seeking to return to the board) and Jennifer Todd

Public Relations — Rob Friedman (incumbent), Marvin LevyTerry Press and Dawn Taubin

Short Films/Feature Animation — Eric GoldbergBill Kroyer (incumbent), Bob Kurtz and Theresa Wiseman

Sound — Paul MasseyScott Millan (incumbent), Andy Nelson and Gary Rydstrom

Visual Effects — Peter AndersonCraig BarronThaddeus Beier and John Knoll (incumbent),

Writers (Bill Condon, the incumbent, is not seeking re-election) — Larry KaraszewskiBilly RayJames Schamus and Dana Stevens

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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