The 84th Academy Awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will air on Sunday, Feb. 26. Some 5,783 members will have cast their votes for the outstanding film achievements of 2011, with films from 63 countries.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., and the ABC Television Network will air the ceremony live at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.
Of the films and awardees, a number have ties to Asia and Asian Americans.
“Kung Fu Panda 2” is among the films nominated for best animated feature film. The other nominees are: Gore Verbinski’s “Rango,” Chris Miller’s “Puss in Boots,” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s “A Cat in Paris” and Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s “Chico & Rita.” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” a DreamWorks Animation film, follows the continuation of Po’s story as the legendary Dragon Warrior. The affable and portly panda faces his past as a new threat bears down on China, threatening the very existence of kung fu. Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed the popular sequel. According to IMDb, she worked as a story artist for the film’s first iteration.
Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen’s “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” were nominated for an award under the short subject documentary category. The 40-minute documentary depicts tales of survival and grief following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan, overlaid with the symbolism represented by cherry blossoms. The film features interviews of survivors and the documentation of cherry blossom trees that survived the calamity blossoming amid the wreckage of twisted metal and debris. The film’s Website describes itself as “a stunning visual poem about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower.” The following films were also nominated in the same category: “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” by Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin, “God Is the Bigger Elvis” by Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson, “Incident in New Baghdad,” by James Spione and “Saving Face” by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
Twenty-eight individual award recipients will be lauded by the Scientific and Technical Awards at a separate ceremony held on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif. Unlike the Academy Awards, these awards need not have been developed or introduced in 2011. According to the Academy, the award goes to recipients who “demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.”
Of the winners which have already been announced, the Fujifilm Corporation will be presented with an Academy Plaque for the Scientific and Engineering Award. Hideyuki Shirai, Dr. Katsuhisa Ozeki and Hiroshi Hirano, who designed and developed Eterna-RDS 4791, are named as the award’s recipients. The black and white recording film is specifically designed for laser film recording, and is widely used by the film industry today for archival preservation of film and digital images. The Academy said in announcing the recipients of the award, that Fujifilm’s recording film “is an important step in protecting the heritage of the motion picture industry.”
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