Jewish Journal

Oscar Week Event

by Joy Bennett

March 1, 2014 | 4:30 pm

Went to a very interesting panel discussion this morning in Beverly Hills.  It was part of the Oscar Week events and this one focused on the Foreign Language Films.  The directors who were nominated in this category discussed their work, inspiration, casting process, etc., and it was fascinating!  It was held in the famous Samuel Goldwyn Theater which is part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Some key points the talented directors made: 

o  Hollywood is a great machine for reaching the masses and entertaining us with films, but for giving a voice to anyone in the world, and provoking conversation and interest about something that otherwise we may not know about, foreign films are great at this. 

o Several of the directors said they find one inspiring actor and write a film around that actor, and then cast the other parts in the more conventional way through a casting director, auditions, etc. 

o Some of the films in the Foreign Film category are already available on Netflix or iTunes, but they are all worth investigating.  The Academy had over 75 films submitted this year, and the members had to watch every one of them in a theatre, not on DVD.  That is a lot of films!

Overall, it was a fascinating discussion in a beautiful setting.  Next up, the Oscars tomorrow night!  For more information on the Oscars Week events, visit oscars.org.   Congratulations to all the Oscar nominees, and best of luck tomorrow! 

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Joy Bennett is a writer living in Santa Monica, California.  She is the author of Under a Quarter Moon, a poetry and short story collection; and is a contributor to the...

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