Oscars shockeroo: Alex Gibney beats incumbent Michael Moore for board seat

Seven years ago, Alex Gibney won an Oscar for his feature documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side.” Among those he edged out was rabblerouser Michael Moore, who contended for “Sicko,” his indictment of the US healthcare system.  

On Monday, the motion picture academy announced that Gibney had been elected to the board of governors. While the news release did not reveal who he bested, it is believed that Moore was standing for re-election at the end of his first three-year term.

Moore, who won an Oscar in 2002 for “Bowling for Columbine,” was an advocate for the recent changes in the Documentary Feature race that restrict nominees to only those films that were reviewed by either the LA or NY Times while allowing all academy members to vote for the winner.   

With six women among the 19 newly-elected governors, they now hold 14 seats on this body that oversees the Oscars. The board has expanded to 48 members, with three people now representing each of the 16 branches. 

There were just eight women among the 43 member of the most recent board. Expansion came about when the Art Directors branch was split into separate Designers and Costume Designers branches while Makeup Artists and Hairstylists was upped from one to three governors.  

Each governor serves for a three-year term. 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. 

That time limit is why current academy president Hawk Kochs was limited to a one-year term. He was not eligible for re-election to the Producers branch and this vacancy allowed Mark Johnson, who oversaw the recent overhaul of the Foreign Language Film process, to win his seat and return to the board.

Koch’s successor as president will be chosen by this new Board of Governors when they meet for the first time on July 30. 

Below, the breakdown of the 16 branches of the academy. Those governors who were just elected are in gold with those that won re-election noted with an asterisk. 

Annette Bening
Ed Begley, Jr.* 
Tom Hanks

Jim Bissell
Rick Carter
Jan Pascale

John Bailey*
Richard P. Crudo
Dante Spinotti

Costume Designers
Judianna Makovsky 
Jeffrey Kurland
Deborah Nadoolman

Kathryn Bigelow*
Lisa Cholodenko
Michael Mann

Michael Apted
Rob Epstein
Alex Gibney

Dick Cook
Amy Pascal
Robert Rehme

Film Editors
Mark L. Goldblatt 
Lynzee Klingman
Michael Tronick

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Kathryn Blondell
Bill Corso
Leonard Engelman

Charles Fox*
Arthur Hamilton
David L. Newman

Gale Anne Hurd
Mark Johnson
Kathleen Kennedy

Public Relations
Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Rob Friedman
Nancy Utley

Short Films and Feature Animation
Jon Bloom*
Bill Kroyer
John Lasseter

Curt Behlmer*
Don Hall
Scott Millan

Visual Effects
Craig Barron
Richard Edlund*
John Knoll

Bill Condon
Phil Robinson
Robin Swicord*

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