AAP staff report
Beverly Hills, CA (January 25, 2011) – Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced Tuesday, with most Asian American hopefuls in the documentary and shorts categories – and a repeat appearance from composer A.R. Rahman.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2009 Oscar winner Mo’Nique (Precious), presented the nominations in a media event. Nominations ballots were mailed to the 5,755 voting members in late December.
The Awards ceremony will be held Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning 7:00 p.m. CST. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
Academy Award winning composer A.R. Rahman returns to the nomination list for best Original Score for “127 Hours.”
The Chennai native, regarded among the greatest Indian composers, won the 2009 Oscar for Original Score with music he wrote for “Slumdog Millionaire”, and again with Original Song, “Jai Ho” for the same film.
Also nominated are John Powell for “How to Train Your Dragon”, Hans Zimmer for “Inception”, Alexandre Desplat for “The King’s Speech”, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for “The Social Network.”
A.R. Rahman is again nominated for Original Song with “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” along with lyricists Dido and Rollo Armstrong.
Also nominated is “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey; “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slate; and “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman.
Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon were nominated in the Documentary (Short Subject) category for their film, “The Warriors of Qiugang” (www.warriorsofqiugang.com).
Shot in Anhui Province, China, the 39 minute documentary in Chinese with English subtitles, “The Warriors of Qiugang” follows the five year plight of farmer Zhang Gongli and fellow villagers in central China that together take on a chemical company that is poisoning their air, water and land. In the process the villagers change their environment and themselves.
Lennon and Yang founded the Chang Ai Media Project that began with groundbreaking AIDS public service messages that have been seen over 900 million times on Chinese television and the Internet.
The pair then completed a trilogy of short films about modern China.
“The Blood of Yingzhou District” was released in 2006 and won an Oscar in 2007. “Tongzhi in Love” was released in June 2008. “Warriors of Qiugang” was released in August 2010.
Lennon served as the writer and co-producer. Yang directed and co-produced.
Yang is a noted Chinese-American filmmaker whose work in documentary and dramatic film has earned her numerous international awards. She currently lives and works in Beijing, where she is developing several feature film projects with young Chinese scriptwriters.
Yang’s earlier work includes feature documentaries, “Citizen Hong Kong” and “China 21.” She also filmed the 2009 one-hour documentary “A Moment in Time” for the Center for Asian American Media. It was aired on PBS and screened at numerous film festivals in Asia.
Field Producer and cinematographer Guan Xin is an independent producer from Liaoning, China, who has explored the far reaches of Western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the Wujiang River, Ali, Hoh Xil, and other areas in northern Tibet, making films focused on cultural themes, wildlife, and narrative subjects.
Guan has served as a photographer, producer, and director and actively participates in cultural exchanges between the East and West. His works include Finding Shambhala, Przewalski’s Gazelle and Approaching Hoh Xil.
Music producer and composer Brian Keane wrote the music for “The Blood of Yingzhou District” and also for this film. He has won numerous Emmys and Grammys.
Also nominated is “Killing in the Name” from Jed Rothstein and Moxie Firecracker Films, in association with Global Survivors Network. The filmmakers also include Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy, Jessica Van Garsse, executive producer Carie Lemack, editor Kate Taverna, and director of photography Tom Hurwitz.
The story begins four years ago at the wedding of Ashraf Al-Khaled, when he and his bride witnessed an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber walk in and detonate, killing both of their fathers and 27 members of their family.
The story illustrates the sad fact that these stories occur almost daily and in the last 5 years, more than 88,000 people, mostly Muslims, have been killed or injured in terrorist attacks worldwide. It explores the question of how can someone be so robbed of their humanity to happily commit mass murder and suicide?
It’s one of the fundamental human questions of our era, one that has haunted Ashraf since his wedding day, and what is now driving him to rise from horrific tragedy to take an unprecedented step – breaking the silence in the Muslim community on this taboo subject by speaking out against terrorism.
“Killing In The Name” follows Ashraf in his quest to speak with victims and perpetrators, and expose the true costs of terrorism. From a jihadi recruiter for Al-Qaeda, the group responsible for bombing his wedding, to an Islamic militant behind one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks, to a madrassa filled with young boys ready to fulfill the duty of jihad, Ashraf takes us on a harrowing journey around the world to see if one man can speak truth to terror, and begin to turn the global tide.
The remaining three nominated filmed include “Poster Girl” from Sara NeApple, who tells the story of Sgt. Robynn Murray, a former cheerleader who became a machine gunner in the Iraq War, and comes home to face a new kind of battle she never anticipated.
“Strangers No More” from Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, tells the story of the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, where refugee children from 48 different countries and diverse backgrounds come together to learn. The film follows several students’ stories of hardship and tragedy and a struggle to acclimate to life in a new land.
“Sun Come Up” from Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger, follows the relocation of some of the world’s first environmental refugees, the Carteret Islanders – a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home.
The film, aka “San Kamap” means sunrise in pidgin and reflects this sentiment – the resilience of the community, and the hope that’s present at the start of a new day for young Carteret Islanders led by Nick Hakata as they search for land in Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea 50 miles across the open ocean.
“Inside Job” from Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs was nominate in the Documentary Feature category. The film exposes the behind the scenes world of the 2008 global financial meltdown, costing over $20 trillion and resulting in millions of people losing their homes and jobs.
With many leading economists featured including Asian countries, the story includes Raghuram Rajan, who as chief economist of the International Monetary Fund in 2005, delivered a paper criticizing the financial sector, “Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier.” The paper proved accurate, but was aggressively criticized by then Harvard President Larry Summers, who is now director of the National Economic Council.
Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.
Also nominated are “Exit through the Gift Shop” from Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz; “Gasland” from Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic; “Restrepo” from Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger; and “Waste Land” from Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley.
Tariq Anwar was nominated in the category of Film Editing for the film, “The King’s Speech.” After an 18 year career at the BBC, where he edited for nearly every department, Anwar went on to feature films, and was nominated for an Oscar once before for “American Beauty.”
Also nominated are, Andrew Weisblum for “Black Swan”, Pamela Martin for “The Fighter”, Jon Harris for “127 Hours”, and Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for “The Social Network.”
Nominated Best Documentary
Inside Job opens January 28th at Landmark’s Lagoon
Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann were nominated in the Animated Short Film category for their Passion Pictures film, “The Lost Thing” (www.thelostthing.com).
The Landmark’s Lagoon Cinema will screen the Oscar Nominated Animated and Action Short Films beginning Friday, February 11th.
Based on the popular book, the 15 minute animated short about a boy who discovers a lost creature on the beach and attempts to help it find its way back. It is a journey of encountered indifference, empathy and adventure.
According to his Web site, www.shauntan.net, Shaun Tan, 26, is a full time freelance artist, author and illustrator in Melbourne. He is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, with honors in Fine Arts and English Literature. His previous work includes Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s Wall-E. His most recently published book is Tales From Outer Suburbia.
Also nominated in the category is “Day & Night” Teddy Newton; “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang; “Let’s Pollute” Geefwee Boedoel and “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois.
Nicolas Aithadi, along with Tim Burke, John Richardson and Christian Manz were nominated in the Visual Effects category for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.”
Also nominated are: “Alice in Wonderland” with Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips; “Hereafter” with Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell; “Inception” with Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb; and “Iron Man 2” with Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick.