Oscars push for diversity extends to Board of Governors election

Last Friday, the motion picture academy announced the names of the record 322 people who had been asked to join the 6,000 strong organization. However, those who accept this invitation won’t be eligible to vote in the current Board of Governors election. Voting began on June 24 and concludes this Thursday (July 2). 

Each of the 17 branches of the academy is represented by three governors who serve three-year terms. Those terms are staggered such that one governor from each branch is up for re-election each year. And no governor may serve for more than nine uninterrupted years. 

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Of the 14 women on the current board of governors, only two — producer Kathleen Kennedy and costumer Deborah Nadoolman Landis — are up for re-election. However, as reported by our pal Scott Feinberg (The Hollywood Reporter), women are also running for seats in 11 of the other branches. Were they all to win, women would represent 25 of the 51 governors. Just three years ago, women numbered only nine of the then 43 governors. Since then, the Art Directors branch was split into Designers and Costume Designers branches with three governors apiece, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch went from one to three governors and the Casting Directors branch was created. 

A dozen of the 17 branches have sitting governors battling to keep their seats. Another three — Documentary, Film Editors and Makeup & Hairstylists — have wide-open races due to term limits. And two – Cinematographers and Writers — have governors not seeking re-election. 

Among those facing the fiercest fights are Tom Hanks (Actors), Michael Mann (Directors), Dick Cook (Executives) and Kennedy (Producers).

Actors: Those squaring off against Hanks, a two-time Oscar champ (“Philadelphia,” 1993; “Forrest Gump,” 1994), are past Oscar nominees Amy Madigan and Edward James Olmos

Directors: Lisa Choldokenko, who lost her bid for re-election last year to Edward Zwick, is hoping to defeat the incumbent Mann this year. She had only served two years, rather than the standard three, as she replaced Paul Mazursky when he stepped down after one year in 2012. That was the same year that saw the return of Mann, who had been on the board from 2000 to 2006. Two other women — Ava DuVernay and Kimberly Peirce — are also in this contest. 

Executive: Cook, the former chair of Disney Studios, is currently also the Treasurer and faces a former board member, Fox head honcho Jim Gianopulos. In addition, Gianopulos’ fellow Fox exec Stacy Snider and Lucy Fisher are in the running. 

Producers: Hawk Koch, who served one-year as academy president before term limits forced him off the board in 2013, is hoping to unseat Kennedy, an eight-time nominee for Best Picture. Also in that race are Stephanie Allain and Jennifer Todd.   

Below, the breakdown of the governors, both sitting and up for re-election, across all 17 branches of the academy. (Former governors seeking to return to the board are noted in italics.)

Actors
Annette Bening
Ed Begley, Jr.
Tom Hanks – up for re-election: vs. Amy Madigan, Edward James Olmos

Designers
Jim Bissell – up for re-election: vs. Nathan Crowley, Tom Dussield, Ed Veloreaux
Rick Carter
Jan Pascale

Casting Directors
Lora Kennedy
David Rubin
Bernard Telsey – up for re-election: vs. Denice Chamian, Nancy Foy, Margery Simkin 

Cinematographers
John Bailey
Caleb Deschanel
Dante Spinotti – vacating; Richard Crudo, Guillermo Navarro, Daryn Okada, Mandy Walker

Costume Designers
Judianna Makovsky 
Jeffrey Kurland
Deborah Nadoolman Landis – up for re-election: vs. Ruth Carter, Ellen Mirojnick, Julie Weiss

Directors
Kathryn Bigelow
Michael Mann – up for re-election: vs. Lisa Cholodenko, Ava DuVernay, Kimberly Peirce 
Edward Zwick

Documentary
Kate Amend
Rob Epstein – term limit: Orlando Bagwell, Karen Goodman, Davis Guggenheim, Rory Kennedy
Alex Gibney

Executives
Dick Cook – up for re-election: vs. Jim Gianopulos, Lucy Fisher, Stacey Snider
Daniel Fellman
Amy Pascal

Film Editors
Mark L. Goldblatt – term limit: Maryanne Brandon, Carol Littleton, Stephen Rivkin, Terilyn A. Shropshire
Lynzee Klingman
Michael Tronick

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Kathryn Blondell
Bill Corso
Leonard Engelman – term limit: Howard Berger, Lois Burwell, Donald Mowat, Robert Ryan

Music
Charles Bernstein
Charles Fox
Arthur Hamilton – up for re-election: vs. Marco Beltrami, Michael Giacchino, Patrick Williams

Producers
Albert Berger
Mark Johnson
Kathleen Kennedy – up for re-election: vs. Stephanie Allain, Hawk Koch, Jennifer Todd

Public Relations
Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Rob Friedman – up for re-election: vs. Marvin Levy, Terry Press, Dawn Taubin
Nancy Utley

Short Films and Feature Animation
Jon Bloom
Bill Kroyer
Bob Rogers – up for re-election: vs.  Eric Goldberg, Bob Kurtz, Theresa Wiseman

Sound
Curt Behlmer
Mark Mangini
Scott Millans – up for re-election: vs. Paul Massey, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom

Visual Effects
Richard Edlund
John Knoll
Bill Taylor – up for re-election: vs. Peter Anderson, Craig Barron, Thaddeus Beier 

Writers
Bill Condon – vacating; Larry Karaszewski, Billy Ray, James Schamus, Dana Stevens
Phil Robinson
Robin Swicord

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