A University of Michigan student will have a golden experience on Oscar Sunday. Zaineb Abdul-Nabi will be helping hand out golden Academy Award statuettes to celebrity presenters here on March 2.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — A University of Michigan student will have a golden experience on Oscar Sunday.
Zaineb Abdul-Nabi will be helping hand out golden Academy Award statuettes to celebrity presenters here on March 2.
The senior, studying screen arts and culture at U-M, won a nationwide college search for “Team Oscar” by the Academy, which puts on the Oscar ceremony annually.
Each student applicant submitted a one-minute film and answered an essay question to be considered. Six were chosen; Abdul-Nabi is one of the lucky students.
In her submission video, she described her passion for filmmaking: “I’m a gonzo cinematographer, seizing the richness of the everyday, searching for the infinite forms of strength and tenacity that make us all extraordinary humans.”
Abdul-Nabi said in a phone interview with The Gold Knight that she enjoys watching human interactions.
“For me, I really like capturing the way that people interact with each other,” she said, “and what we can learn from that.”
Here is her video:
In her brief essay, Abdul-Nabi wrote about a film that inspired her. She chose “Volver” by Pedro Almodóvar.
She wrote about how great the movie was on different levels and how it featured well-developed female characters.
Originally from the Bronx in New York City, Abdul-Nabi came to Michigan to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.
She decided to switch to pursue film instead and is on track to graduate in May.
The other five students selected for Team Oscar are Tayo Amos from Stanford University, Nathan Flanagan-Frankl from Chapman University, Jeanpaul Isaacs from Rutgers University, Bryson Kemp from Muhlenberg College and Mackenna Millet from Pepperdine University.
Watch all of the videos here:
The students recently arrived in Los Angeles for a week full of industry events and activities, including studio tours and meetings with filmmakers.
Abdul-Nabi, 22, said this was something she was looking forward to.
“I know this sounds really nerdy,” she said. “I’m just really excited to learn about the history of the Academy and really see how they preserve films and not only the medium itself, but how they preserve the history of film.”
At the ceremony, Abdul-Nabi will be rooting for “12 Years a Slave” for Best Picture.
If she could choose, she said she would love to help deliver a statuette to Lupita Nyong’o, nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for “12 Years a Slave.”
“I think she is flawless; I think she is amazing,” she said, “And you can quote me on that.”
This is not the first time the Oscar spotlight has shone on U-M.
Last year, a graduate was honored with a Student Academy Award for his short film.
Perry Janes, a 2012 U-M film and English graduate, received the silver medal in the alternative category for his short film “Zug.”
Janes was the first student honored from the university by the Academy, which started the awards in 1972.
“Zug,” a film based on Janes’ short story of the same name, follows two young men who complete a dare by visiting the mysterious Zug Island, a manmade island along the River Rouge and Detroit River near Detroit.
The 86th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2013, will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.
This article was first published in Toledo Free Press