News Roundup: Governors Awards and Oscars

The Academy had a busy Halloween Monday with a trick-or-treat bag full of announcements. A film series previewing the Governors Awards and t...

The Academy had a busy Halloween Monday with a trick-or-treat bag full of announcements. A film series previewing the Governors Awards and two positions for the Oscars were announced. There was also a deadline reminder.

Series celebrates Governors Awards honorees
With less than two weeks to go until the 2011 Governors Awards, the Academy announced a film series to celebrate the honorees.

The inaugural Governors Awards Film Series will feature screenings of "The Exorcist," "The Color Purple" and "The Great White Hope." It will run from Wednesday, Nov. 9, to Friday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at Academy HQ, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. The honorees are actor James Earl Jones and film makeup pioneer Dick Smith, 2001 Honorary Award recipients, and actress and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, the 2011 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient.

Here is the schedule:
November 9: "The Exorcist" (1973)
This cultural touchstone showcases Dick Smith's groundbreaking makeup designs, including 14-year-old Linda Blair's satanic transformation. Introduced by Academy governor Leonard Engelman, the evening will feature Smith in person as well as remarks from special effects makeup artist Rick Baker and cinematographer Owen Roizman. While "The Exorcist" received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Smith himself was not formally recognized for his remarkable work, as the Academy Awards Makeup category would not be established until 1981. (Description from the Academy.)

November 10: "The Color Purple" (1985)
One of today's most influential figures in entertainment and philanthropy, Oprah Winfrey received a Supporting Actress nomination for her performance as Sofia in this 11-time Oscar-nominated film. Academy President Tom Sherak will introduce the evening, which will feature remarks from fellow nominee Margaret Avery, who played Shug Avery in the film, and a video message from 2009 nominee Gabourey Sidibe. Sidibe's breakthrough performance came as the title character in "Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push' by Sapphire," which Winfrey executive produced.

November 11: "The Great White Hope" (1970)
James Earl Jones won a Tony® Award as boxer Jack Johnson in "The Great White Hope" on Broadway, and two years later, earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in the big screen adaptation. Introduced by Academy President Tom Sherak, the evening will feature remarks from Phillip Noyce, who directed Jones in "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger," and actor Courtney B. Vance, a co-star in "The Hunt for Red October."

The series leads into the 3rd Governors Awards presentation on Saturday, Nov. 12. Jones will be honored "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility," Smith "for his unparalleled mastery of texture, shade, form and illusion," and Winfrey "for efforts that promote hope around the world and goodwill for the film industry." All three will receive Oscar statuettes.

Tickets for each film screening in the series are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students. Tickets may be purchased online at www.oscars.org or by mail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Talent producer, consultant named for Oscars
Melissa Watkins Trueblood was named talent producer for the 84th Academy Awards by telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer on Monday. This will be her first association with the Oscar telecast. Danette Herman was signed on to consult for the 84th and 85th shows.

Trueblood has served as a co-producer or talent producer on a number of awards shows, including this year's 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Other credits include the American Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the People’s Choice Awards and the World Music Awards.

Herman was coordinating producer for the 83rd Academy Awards telecast and has served in various producing and executive capacities on Oscar shows before. In 2010, she was co-producer of the 2nd Governors Awards. Other credits include The Kennedy Center Honors, the Primetime Emmy Awards and "Stand Up to Cancer."

According to TheWrap's Steve Pond, this announcement was a "bombshell" big change. Herman, who "helped create the template for all subsequent Oscar telecasts during her long run with the show," will no longer work in her normal capacity, instead she will consult for two years.

Animated Feature entries due Nov. 1
Just a friendly reminder from the Academy: In order to qualify in the Animated Feature Film category for the 84th Academy Awards, filmmakers must submit entry forms and supporting materials to the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The deadline to submit accompanying film prints is Friday, Nov. 11.

As part of rule changes announced in June, the Animated Feature no longer needs to be "activated" by the Board of Governors, but eight eligible features are required for a competitive category. The number of nominees will be determined according to the following rule: In any year in which eight to 12 animated features are released, either two or three of them may be nominated. When 13 to 15 films are released, a maximum of four may be nominated, and when 16 or more animated features are released, a maximum of five may be nominated.

And that's the news roundup for a haunted Monday.

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The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news, predictions and insight: News Roundup: Governors Awards and Oscars
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