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Ava DuVernay has been elected to represent the directors branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on its board of governors, part of a historic wave that establishes new records for women (26) and people of color (12) on the 54-person board (up from 25 and 11, respectively).
DuVernay, whose 2014 film Selma was denied best director and best actor Oscar nominations, partially fueling the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that resulted in significant changes at the Academy, is among six people who, via elections that ran from June 1 to 5, were elected to the board for the first time. (All board members are elected to three-year terms. Seventeen of the board’s 51 seats come up for election every year; the other three are filled by appointment of the Academy president every three years.)
DuVernay defeated incumbent Kimberly Peirce, among others.
The five other rookies are Debra Zane (casting directors), succeeding Lora Kennedy, who termed out, meaning that she served three consecutive terms and is therefore required to spend at least a year away from the board; Stephen Rivkin (film editors), who replaces Michael Tronick, also termed out; Linda Flowers (makeup artists and hairstyling), who ran unopposed after Kathryn L. Blondell termed out; Lynette Howell Taylor (producers), who co-produced the 92nd Academy Awards telecast with Stephanie Allain on Feb. 9, and will replace Albert Berger, who opted not to seek re-election; and Rob Bredow (visual effects), who defeated incumbent Richard Edlund, among others.
Ten of 13 incumbents seeking re-election to the board were returned to their seats: Whoopi Goldberg (actors), Mandy Walker (cinematographers), Wynn P. Thomas (production designers), Isis Mussenden (costume designers), Kate Amend (documentary), David Linde (executives), Charles Bernstein (music), Christina Kounelias (marketing and public relations), Teri E. Dorman (sound) and Larry Karaszewski (writers).
The third unseated incumbent, in addition to Peirce and Edlund, is Tom Sito (short films and feature animation), who was defeated by Jon Bloom, a longtime governor of the branch who had previously termed out.
153 Academy members across the organization’s 17 branches were candidates this election cycle.
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