Jennifer Yuh Nelson, inset, directed “Kung Fu Panda 2” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount), which is nominated for Best animated feature film of the year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 84th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo courtesy of Paramount)
AAP staff report
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ announced the nominees this week for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, with a few notable Asian Americans up for the Oscar.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards will be aired Sunday evening, Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC TV.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson, a 39 year-old Korean American director living in California, directed “Kung Fu Panda 2” which is nominated for best Animated Feature Film.
Yuh Nelson was born in South Korea and raised in New York. She was once a comedienne and an award winning storyboard artist with Kung Fu Panda 1. Her first directing role is with Kung Fu Panda 2. She is the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio.
Also nominated in the Animated Feature category are “A Cat in Paris” (Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli), “Chico & Rita” (Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal), “Puss in Boots” (Chris Miller), and “Rango” (Gore Verbinski).
Danfung Dennis is the director of the best Documentary (Feature) nominated film “Hell and Back Again” together with Mike Lerner.
Dennis has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past five years. His photographs have been published in major newspapers and magazines. His video footage has been segmented on PBS Frontline and was nominated for a 2010 Emmy Award.
Dennis is the founder of the immersive video startup Condition ONE. This is his first director and feature length documentary effort and focuses on the war in Afghanistan. It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and won both the World Cinema Jury Award and the World Cinema Cinematography Award. http://hellandbackagain.com
Also nominated for best Documentary (Feature) is “Saving Face” (Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy), the story of renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who left the comfort of his profitable London practice to return to Pakistan and help the victims of acid attacks, mostly women, and their battle for justice and their journey of healing. www.savingfacefilm.com
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom” (Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen) is also nominated in the category.
The film documents the survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s recent tsunami with an artistic quality and set to the music of Moby. It contrasts the devastation with stories of people who find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com
Other nominees in the category are “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman), “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” (Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky), “Pina” (Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel), “Undefeated” (TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas).
Directed by Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation” is one of five films nominated for best Foreign Language Film. Set in contemporary Iran, A Separation is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage and the effect it has on the extended family that reveals a culture in conflict. www.sonyclassics.com/aseparation.
The other Best Foreign Film nominees are “Bullhead” (Belgium), “Footnote” (Israel), “In Darkness” (Poland), and “Monsieur Lazhar” (Canada).
Asghar Farhadi is also nominated for best Writing (Original Screenplay), also with “A Separation”.
Other nominees include “The Artist” (Michel Hazanavicius), “Bridesmaids” (Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig), “Margin Call” (J.C. Chandor), and “Midnight in Paris” (Woody Allen).
“Raju” is nominated for best Short Film (Live Action). The German made film from Hamburg Media School students Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren is a story about illegal adoptions involving a German couple at an Indian orphanage in Kolkata. The child suddenly disappears and they realize that they are part of the problem. www.raju-film.com.
Other films in the category include “Pentecost” (Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane), “The Shore” (Terry George and Oorlagh George), “Time Freak” (Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey), and “Tuba Atlantic” (Hallvar Witzø).