This year’s Oscar Award show was definitely the pinnacle of many water cooler conversations. Whether you vote for the winners of Best Actor and Actress or share the heartbreak over your pick for Best Picture, Birdman, versus American Sniper or Selma, there are several facts about the Oscar Awards’ sponsor, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that little of its 36 Million viewers are aware. We, at the Good News Notebook, would like to share a few interesting facts that all can agree are winners!
1. Don’t for the SCIENCE of Motion Pictures in its name.
Most know the foundation by the nomenclature, “The Academy.” Beside the Oscars, the “Academy” also honors key industry players with the Sci-Tech Award annually. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards honor the men, women and companies whose discoveries and innovations have contributed in significant and lasting ways to motion pictures. Honorees are celebrated at a formal dinner held two weeks prior to the Oscar ceremony. The Sci-Tech Awards presentation has become a highlight of the Academy Awards season.
According to their website, First presented at the 4th Academy Awards ceremony in November 1931, Scientific & Technical Awards are conferred in recognition of original developments that result in significant improvements in motion picture production and exhibition. Scientific and technical achievement is awarded on three levels: Technical Achievement Award (certificate), Scientific and Engineering Award (bronze tablet) and Academy Award of Merit (Oscar statuette).
2. The Academy offers Grant Opportunities.
In 2013, the “Academy” distributed $325,000 to 27 film-related nonprofit organizations through its Education Grants Program. The Educational Grants Program provides support to institutions and other nonprofit organizations that help aspiring filmmakers gain the skills and knowledge they need to make theatrical motion pictures.
Moreover, for all of our Film Festival fans, the “Academy’s” Film Festival Grants program has awarded over $5.7 million to film festivals since 1999. Grants totaling $450,000 were granted to 30 U.S. film festivals in 2011. While the grants are awarded for a variety of programs, film festivals are encouraged to submit proposals that make festival events more accessible to the general public, provide greater access to minority and less visible filmmakers, and help strengthen the connection between the filmmaker and the public.
3. The “Academy” operates the world famous Margaret Herrick Library.
Margaret Herrick was the Academy librarian from 1936 to 1943, and served as the Academy’s executive director from 1945 to 1971. It was Herrick who laid the foundation for what is now considered to be one of the world’s finest film-related libraries. And it was Herrick who expanded the Academy’s activities into several key non-Awards areas, negotiated the Academy’s first television broadcast and oversaw the transformation of the annual Oscar ceremony into a major televised event.
The Margaret Herrick Library is a world-renowned, non-circulating reference and research collection devoted to the history and development of the motion picture as an art form and as an industry. Established in 1928, a year after the Academy was founded, the library moved to its current Beverly Hills location in 1991.
For more information, please visit the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website, www.oscars.org. Enjoy.