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The results are in from the annual elections for one-third of the 51 non-appointed seats on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors — there are also three governors-at-large, appointed every three years by the president to advocate for diversity in Academy decisions — and it seems that Oscar voters are mostly happy with their existing leadership.
Ten of the 11 incumbents who were seeking re-election have been returned to the board: three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (directors), Oscar nominee/Big Little Lies star Laura Dern (actors), Oscar nominee and Academy Science and Technology Council co-chair Craig Barron (visual effects), Kevin Collier (sound), Rain Man Oscar winner Mark Johnson (producers), Laura Karpman (music), Oscar nominee Jan Pascale (designers), Academy secretary David Rubin (casting directors), Fox Searchlight co-chief Nancy Utley (marketing and public relations) and Roger Ross Williams, the first black director ever to win an Oscar.
The 11th, meanwhile, Oscar nominee Mark Goldblatt (film editors), is headed to a runoff against challenger Dody Dorn. Members of the film editors branch will vote to determine the winner on June 17 and 18.
The three individuals who had served as governors-at-large since the positions were created three years ago all declared themselves candidates for election from their actual branch — Reginald Hudlin (directors), Gregory Nava (writers) and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (short films and feature animation) — but only Nelson was elected. She will succeed Jon Bloom, who, like current president John Bailey (cinematographers) and Robin Swicord (writers), was not able to seek re-election, having served the maximum allowed three consecutive terms.
Three other governors elected to not seek re-election: Sharen Davis (costume designers), Leonard Engelman (makeup artists and hairstylists) and Daniel Fellman (executives).
The five new governors are Donna Gigliotti (executives), who produced the successful 91st Oscars ceremony in February; Ellen Kuras (cinematographers), who most recently directed one-third of Hulu’s Catch-22 limited series; Ruth E. Carter (costume designers), who, in February, for her work on Black Panther, became the first black winner of the best costume design Oscar; Howard Berger (makeup artists and hairstylists branch), whose makeup work on 2005’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe won him an Oscar; and Eric Roth (writers), who won the best adapted screenplay Oscar for his work on 1994’s Forrest Gump.
Sixty-three members angling to represent their branch advanced to the final round of voting last month, four or fewer from each branch. Those who came up short include Sony chief Tom Rothman; Get Out and Us producer Jason Blum; Michael Barker, the Sony Classics co-chief, and Mike Medavoy, the former Orion co-chief, both vying to represent executives; the Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave); Lynette Howell Taylor, recently Oscar-nominated for producing A Star Is Born; and the actresses Margaret Avery, an Oscar nominee for The Color Purple, and Rita Wilson, whose husband Tom Hanks once represented the branch on the board.
Several other former governors seeking to return to the board also came up short: Curt R. Behlmer (sound), Bill Corso (makeup artists and hairstylists), Richard P. Crudo (cinematographers), Charles Fox (music) and Michael Mann (directors).
Regardless of the result of the runoff election between male Goldblatt and female Dorn, the newly reconstituted Academy board will be the most diverse in the organization’s history. As of now, including the three recently appointed governors-at-large, DeVon Franklin, Rodrigo Garcia and Janet Yang, the number of female governors has increased from 22 to 24 (44 percent of the overall board) and the number of non-white governors has increased from 10 to 11 (20 percent).
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