April 1, 2001

Academy Award Nominees 2001

From <em>Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport</em>.

Best Documentary Feature

 

INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS: STORIES OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT
Produced by Deborah Oppenheimer
Directed and Written by Mark Jonathan Harris
Narrated by Judi Dench
Edited by Kate Amend
Photographed by Don Lenzer
Music Composed by Lee Holdridge
Distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures
117 min.

For nine months before the outbreak of World War II, Britain conducted an extraordinary rescue mission, unmatched by any other country at the time. It opened its doors to over 10,000 endangered children -- 90 percent of them Jewish -- from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Into the Arms of Strangers recounts the remarkable story of this rescue operation and its impact on the lives of the children who were saved.

MARK JONATHAN HARRIS is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, novelist and film professor. He has earned Academy Awards® for The Redwoods (1968), made for the Sierra Club to help establish a redwood national park, and The Long Way Home (1997), made for the Simon Wiesenthal Center about the period immediately following the Holocaust. As a journalist, Harris has published articles, essays and reviews in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. He is co-author of the companion book to Into the Arms of Strangers. He has taught at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television since 1983.

DEBORAH OPPENHEIMER is one of the most active producers working in television today, serving as executive producer for such network shows as The Drew Carey Show, Norm, Nikki and The Oblongs. She began her career in feature and television production at Lorimar Productions, where she rose to vice president of production. Her quest to learn about her mother’s experience as a child on the Kindertransport compelled her to research the subject and produce Into the Arms of Strangers, her first film. She is also co-author of the companion book of the film and producer of the soundtrack.

 

LEGACY

Produced, Directed and Written by Tod Lending
Edited and Co-Produced by Daniel Alpert
Photographed by Slawomir Grunberg, Max Miller, Therese Sherman, Sid Lubitsch, Don Winter, Keith Walker, Randell Blakely and Phil Cantor
Music Composed by Sheldon Mirowitz
Narrated by Nickole Collins
Distributed by Nomadic Pictures
90 min.

For four generations, the Collins family was trapped in urban poverty, depending on welfare and living in one of the most dangerous public housing projects in America—Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes. On the day filming began, 14-year-old Terrell Collins, a straight A student and leader in the neighborhood, was shot and killed. Through the powerful and dignified voices of women from three generations of the Collins family, Legacy follows the remarkable story of how these family members, filmed over a five-year period, recovered from the loss of their child, broke free of welfare, overcame addiction and escaped the scepter of violence in their community.

TOD LENDING is an Emmy Award-winning producer/writer/director whose work has aired nationally on network, public and cable television and internationally in Europe and Asia. He is president and founder of Nomad Pictures, a film and television production company in Chicago. Lending produced the award-winning PBS series No Time to be a Child with Detroit Public Television, about children overcoming the effects and consequences of violence in their communities. Lending is currently completing a pilot for a documentary series on public defenders for Lifetime Television and is developing a three-part documentary series entitled Confession, Conviction and Justice.

 

LONG NIGHT’S JOURNEY INTO DAY

Produced by Frances Reid
Directed by Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffman
Edited by Deborah Hoffman
Original Music Composed by Lebo M
Photographed by Ezra Jwili and Frances Reid
Narrated by Helen Mirren
Distributed by Seventh Art Releasing
95 min.

For over 40 years, South Africa was governed by the most notorious form of racial domination since Nazi Germany. When it finally collapsed, those who had enforced apartheid’s rule wanted amnesty for their crimes. Their victims wanted justice. As a compromise, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed. Long Night’s Journey Into Day follows four dramatically different TRC cases over a two-year period, documenting the heights and depths of human possibilities as a nation collectively grapples with the great moral questions of our day.

FRANCES REID has been producing, directing and shooting documentaries for over 30 years. Her last production, Skin Deep, which explores race relations on college campuses, is used by many colleges and universities in the US. Her producing and directing credits include Straight From The Heart, which received an Academy Award® nomination for the best documentary short; In the Best Interests of Children; and The Faces of AIDS. Her cinematography credits include The Times of Harvey Milk, The Ride to Wounded Knee, Reno’s Kids and Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter.

DEBORAH HOFFMAN produced and directed the Academy Award®-nominated Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter. For the past 20 years, Deborah has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a film and video editor, editing numerous acclaimed documentaries on a wide range of sensitive and challenging topics. Her credits include two Academy Award®-winners, The Times of Harvey Milk and Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt; Color Adjustment; and Mulholland’s Dream, the opening program of the PBS series Cadillac Desert. She has received two Emmy Awards, a Peabody, a Columbia DuPont, a DGA nomination and many other awards for her work.

 

SCOTTSBORO: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY

Produced by Daniel Anker and Barak Goodman
Written and Directed by Barak Goodman; Co-Directed by Daniel Anker
Edited by Jean Tsien
Photographed by Buddy Squires
Original Music Composed by Edward Bilous
Narrated by Andre Braugher
Production Company: Social Media Productions
82 min.

In March 1931, a freight train crowded with homeless and unemployed hobos was making its way through northeastern Alabama when it was stopped by an armed posse a few miles from the small town of Scottsboro. Nine African American boys, suspected of having scuffled with whites aboard the train, were arrested. Before anyone knew what had happened, two young women—white prostitutes who had also been passengers—stepped forward and accused the blacks of having gang-raped them. So began one of the most significant and dramatic legal controversies of the Twentieth Century—one that would divide Americans along racial, political, and geographic lines. Scottsboro: An American Tragedy tells this story for the first time on film.

DANIEL ANKER has worked on over 50 national programs for PBS in the last 15 years, and has produced documentaries for American Experience and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. His credits include the American Experience film Dale: The Last Boss (co-producer), The Magic of La Guardia (producer/director), and a series about campaign finance reform for The Newshour with Jim Lehrer (field producer). Anker's most recent project is Music from the Inside Out, a new series developed in collaboration with the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Anker's awards and honors include a Peabody Award and four national Emmy Award nominations.

BARAK GOODMAN has produced, directed and written numerous documentaries for broadcast on public television and the networks. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where he finished first in his class. Among his credits include Merchants of Cool, for Frontline (director/co-producer); The Lost Kids of Rockdale County, also for Frontline (co-director/co-producer); The Church of Scientology, for ABC News (director/producer/co-writer); Daley: The Last Boss, for American Experience (director/producer/co-writer); Bottom Line America (director/producer); The People and the Power Game (director/producer); and Listening to Children: A Moral Journey with Robert Coles (producer).

 

SOUND AND FURY

Produced by Roger Weisberg
Directed by Josh Aronson
Executive Producer: Josh Aronson
Edited by Ann Collins
Photographed by Brian Danitz, Kenny Gronningsater, Mead Hunt, Gordy Waterman and Brett Wiley
Music Composed by Mark Suozzo
Distributed by Artistic License Films
80 min.

Sound and Fury takes us inside the rarely seen world of the deaf to reveal a family at war over a medical technology, the cochlear impact, which promises to end deafness. Some family members see it as a miracle, but others fear it will destroy their language and way of life. The battle reaches a heated climax as the hearing members of the family fight for six-year-old Heather’s right to be part of the hearing world, while deaf family members fight to preserve her deaf identity.

JOSH ARONSON has directed and produced films in almost every area of the film business in the past 15 years. He is presently in production on Feelin’ No Pain, a documentary about doo-wop music. Through his company, Aronson has directed hundreds of television commercials and MTV videos. Most recently, Aronson directed 126 episodes of the Outward Bound series for Discovery Channel. Aronson has won many awards, including CableACE Awards, Clios, a New York Industrial Film Festival Award and the Public Service Award of Excellence in Film. He attended New York University Film School and holds a BA in English and Music from Columbia University.

Since 1980, ROGER WEISBERG has written, produced and directed 20 documentaries for public television through his independent production company, Public Policy Productions. His films include the 1993 feature Road Scholar, which had a broad theatrical release before airing on PBS; Sex, Teens and Public Schools; What’s Ailing Medicine; Ending Welfare As We Know It; and A Family Grows in Brooklyn, among others. These films have won over 60 awards, including Peabody, Emmy and duPont –Columbia Awards. His current production, The Main Stream, follows humorist Roy Blount Jr. down the Mississippi River in search of the literal and metaphorical “mainstream” of America.

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

 

BIG MAMA

Produced and Directed by Tracy Seretean
Edited by Geof Bartz
Photographed by Tamara Coldsworthy
Original Music Composed by Bobby McFerrin
Production Company: Birthmark Productions
40 min.

Big Mama documents a determined 89-year-old African American grandmother’s struggle to raise her troubled nine-year-old grandson in South Central Los Angeles under the watchful eye of a cynical child welfare system. The film follows Viola and Walter Dees for 18 months, during which time Viola suffers a heart attack, Walter accidentally sets fire to their home and Viola ultimately must place him in a residential treatment facility. Through it all, the strength and warmth of Viola and Walter’s familial bond serve as powerful counterpoints to their considerable age difference and the system that threatens to force them apart.

First-time producer/director TRACY SERETEAN began work in documentary in 1997 as development director for the ABC program The Story of Mothers & Daughters. Her 1998 proposal for Big Mama won a national grant competition for first-time directors that was sponsored by Kodak and Aperture, a nonprofit foundation. Prior to working in documentary, Seretean produced two shows for National Public Radio’s flagship Southern California affiliate KCRW: The Treatment, a pop culture critique program hosted by New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, and Morning Becomes Eclectic, the station’s premiere music show, hosted by Chris Douridas. Seretean is now developing a documentary on adoption reform.

 

CURTAIN CALL

Produced and Directed by Chuck Braverman
Produced by Steve Kalafer and Peter LeDonne
Edited by Rob King
Photographed by Gregory Andrake and Chuck Braverman
Executive Producer: Peter LeDonne
Production Company: White Whale Productions
38 min.

The curtain rises once more on the lives of performers from long ago, now residents of the Actors’ Fund Home. Among the featured players in Curtain Call are Bernard Flood, who sang and played the trumpet with such legends as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington; Tessie Moreno, who performed with Ziegfield Follies and in the Follies Bergere; and Gaylord Mason, who starred on Broadway in Kiss and Tell. At times comedic and at times tragic, Curtain Call presents the stories of those who helped lay the groundwork for today’s world of show business.

CHUCK BRAVERMAN is a producer, director and studio executive. He is known for his fast cut “kinestasis” montage films, including American Time Capsule, a three-minute history of the United States. He has won Emmys for his documentaries, Clios for his commercials and CableAce Awards for his cable network productions. He was also senior vice president at Sony New Technologies. His recent documentaries include High School Boot Camp, for which he received a Directors Guild of America nomination. Braverman has a degree in cinema from University of Southern California, where he teaches advanced directing.

 

DOLPHINS

Produced, Directed and Photographed by Greg MacGillivrary
Produced by Alec Lorrimore
Music Composed by Sting
Narrated by Pierce Brosnon
Distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films
40 min.

From the dazzling coral reefs of the Bahamas to the wind-swept seas of Patagonia, Dolphins chronicles the exploits of two young dolphin researchers, Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski and Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, as they study the communication and social habits of these captivating and much loved "ambassadors of the sea." Dolphins also explores the bond between dolphins and humans through the story of naturalist Dean Bernal and his friend JoJo, a rare lone dolphin in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Their story reveals the mystery of inter-species communication.

The art and sport of surfing inspired GREG MacGILLIVRAY's film career since the1960s, when his films on surfing played in Southern California theatres and elsewhere. His Laguna Beach company has produced 20 films for the large screen motion picture format since their release of To Fly!, in 1976. The Living Sea, MacGillivray's first large-format tribute to the ocean, was nominated in 1996 for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary/Short Subject. His company also produced Everest, the first large-format film to reach the Top Ten box office chart in North America. MacGillivray plans to release at least four more ocean films.

ALEC LORIMORE has over 20 years experience in the large-format arena in association with MacGillivray Freeman Films. He has produced such successful titles as The Living Sea, Everest, Journey Into Amazing Caves and At Sea, which he also wrote and for which he received the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement from the Navy League of the United States. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Lorimore is co-chair of the 4th International Documentary Congress (IDC4), to be jointly convened by AMPAS and IDA in August 2002. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema.

 

ON TIP TOE: GENTLE STEPS TO FREEDOM

Produced by Leelai Demoz and Eric Simonson
Directed by Eric Simonson
Co-Produced by Corinne Marrinan
Photographed by Jan Maliszewski
Edited by Kate Amend
Production Company: On Tip Toe Productions
39 min.

On Tip Toe tells the story of a man and his passion to create a new kind of music. Joseph Shabala, the leader of the South African singing group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, started with noting but a dream and rose to become one of the most innovative and well-known musicians on the world. As Eric Simonson, the films director, notes “On Tip Toe is meant to be a reflection of the perils, joys and complexities of world culture at the dawn of the 21st century. It is also a testament to the power and universality of music.”

LEELAI DEMOZ formerly headed a company that promoted reggae and African music and produced many live shows featuring such world class acts as Ziggy Marley, King Sunny Ade and Burning Spear. He is also a professional actor and has appeared at the National Theater of Great Britain, The Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse, The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater and the Edinburgh Theater Festival. He appeared on Broadway with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in The Song of Jacob Zulu and in The Grapes of Wrath. He is currently developing a film he wrote entitled Tar Babies.

ERIC SIMONSON is an ensemble member of the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. Theater directing credits include La Boheme for the Minnesota Opera and Angels in America for the Milwaukee Rep. For Steppenwolf he directed The Song of Jacob Zulu, which was invited to the Perth Arts Festival in Australia and which received six Tony Award nominations, including Best Director. His production of Nomathemba, which he co-wrote with playwright Ntozake Shange and Jospeh Shambala, premiered at Steppenwolf and was remounted at the Kennedy Center. Simonson recently directed Campbell Scott in a film version of Hamlet.

 

THE MAN ON LINCOLN’S NOSE

Produced and Directed by Daniel Raim
Written by Gill Dennis and Daniel Raim
Executive Producers: Patrica Hitchcock O’Connell, Emily Boyle, Jon Biddle, Larry Mirisch
Photographed by Haskell Wexler, ASC; Daniel Raim; Guido Verweyen
Editor & Associate Producer: Stephen Mark, ACE
Production Company: Adama Films
39 min.

The Man on Lincoln’s Nose examines the cinematic contributions of one of Hollywood’s most prolific and important production designers, Robert F. Boyle. Boyle designed over 70 feature films in a career that has spanned seven decades. His work includes his pioneering collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock on such films as North by Northwest and The Birds, and Norman Jewison on The Thomas Crown Affair and Fiddler on the Roof. The documentary reveals Boyle’s collaborative process and how he imbued a film with emotional and physical vitality through his evocative production design sketches.

DANIEL RAIM studied painting and sculpture in Israel, then went on to write, direct and shoot documentary films for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). His three-year service included highly acclaimed documentaries that capture the challenges of human existence against the backdrop of the Middle East crisis. Returning to America in 1997, Raim entered the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles. During his second year there, he received a grant from American Express, which he used to launch The Man on Lincoln’s Nose.

Tags: