The Academy Throws a Mini-Film Festival Tied to the Governors' Awards

Films featuring the work of Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones and Dick Smith are on tap.
Kristian Dowling/Picturegroup

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ posh Governors Awards dinner, set for Nov. 12, may be strictly invitation only, with invasive TV cameras pointedly not invited, but the Academy has decided to offer the general public a glimpse, via celluloid, of the nominees.

Monday, it announced its first-ever Governors Awards Film Series. The name itself is a little grand. The series consists of just three representative films -- one each for Oprah Winfrey, who is to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, as well as the two Honorary Award winners, James Earl Jones and make-up artist Dick Smith.

The series kicks off Nov. 9 at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills with a showing of 1973’s The Exorcist, in which Smith’s work helped transform Linda Blair into a demonic, head-spinning, little terror, as well as appearances by Smith, Academy governor Leonard Engelman, fellow make-up artist Rick Smith and cinematographer Owen Roizman.

The following night, the program will offer Steven Spielberg’s 1985 The Color Purple, for which Winfrey received a best supporting actor nomination. Academy president Tom Sherak will introduce the evening, which will include actress Margaret Avery, who was also nominated for the film.

The final feature, on Nov. 11, will be 1970’s The Great White Hope, directed by Martin Ritt, for which Jones picked up an Oscar nomination of his own. The program will include Sherak, director Phillip Noyce and actor Courtney B. Vance.

Tickets will be available to the general public beginning Nov. 1 at and by mail.