East Africa Outreach
The Academy's International Outreach program brings delegations of visiting film artists to countries with developing film industries, as well as creating opportunities for creative conversations between emerging and established filmmakers from many nations.
East Africa as a region is experiencing an upswing in the number and quality of films being produced there. We visited two countries in the region, Kenya and Rwanda, though our activities involved interactions with a number of professional and aspiring filmmakers from other countries of the region, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Read more about the Africa trip
Producer Stephanie Allain began her career as a script reader and story analyst for 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures. While working at Columbia, Allain was promoted to Senior Vice President of Production, the highest position ever held by an African American at the studio. Allain soon developed a reputation for making independent-style films within the studio system, helping to launch the careers of John Singleton (“Boyz N the Hood,” 1991) and Robert Rodriguez (“El Mariachi,” 1992). After a brief stint as President of Jim Henson Pictures, Allain founded her own company, Homegrown Films. Teaming with John Singleton, they produced Craig Brewer's “Hustle & Flow” (2005), which was nominated for two Academy Awards, taking home an Oscar for Best Original Song. Allain’s other producing credits include “Black Snake Moan” (2006), “Something New” (2006), “Hurricane Season” (2009) and the upcoming “We the Peeples,” alongside Tyler Perry.
"Boyz N The Hood" Rings Out, 20 Years Later featuring Executive Producer Stephanie Allain
Inspired by the films of the French New Wave, John Bailey pursued a degree at the USC School of Cinema-Television. He worked as a camera operator under such notable cinematographers as Nestor Almendros, Charles Rosher Jr. and Vilmos Zsigmond before his breakthrough in 1980, when he served as director of photography on both "American Gigolo" and the Best Picture Oscar® winner "Ordinary People". Bailey's other credits include "The Big Chill" (1983), "Silverado" (1985), "The Accidental Tourist" (1988), "In the Line of Fire" (1993), "Groundhog Day" (1993), "As Good as It Gets" (1997), "The Kid Stays in the Picture" (2002) and "Country Strong" (2010). His next film is "Everybody Loves Whales," due out in 2012. Bailey writes a blog for the American Society of Cinematographers, where he has been a member since 1985. Bailey currently serves as an Academy governor representing the Cinematographers Branch.
Seven-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Oscar winner for sound Willie Burton has had a pioneering, prolific and genre-spanning career. Burton studied electronic technology and engineering, which lead to a job working on sonar systems for the Department of the Navy. In 1969, he became the first African American to be accepted into the International Sound Technicians union. He was nominated for sound for “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978), “Altered States” (1980), “War Games” (1983), “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994), “The Green Mile” (1999), and he took home Oscars for “Bird” (1988, the first African American winner for Best Sound) and “Dreamgirls” (2006). Other titles include “Car Wash” (1976), “The China Syndrome” (1979), “Urban Cowboy” (1980), “The Color Purple” (1985), “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989), “Sneakers” (1992), “In the Line of Fire” (1993), “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995), “Se7en” (1995), “Beloved” (1998), “Antwone Fisher” (2002), “Jarhead” (2005), “The Great Debaters” (2007), “The Kingdom” (2007), the upcoming “The Help,” due out in August 2011 and “A Thousand Words” (2012), starring Eddie Murphy.
Ellen M. Harrington is the Director of Exhibitions, Special Events and International Outreach for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. During her seventeen years in this position she has organized and designed the installations for over seventy exhibitions, which have been installed in the Academy’s Galleries in Beverly Hills. Numerous exhibitions have travelled to museums and film festivals in North America, Europe and Asia. She has produced hundreds of special screening events incorporating key anniversaries of significant films, premieres of film restorations, cast and filmmaker reunions, and screenings and lectures presented in conjunction with gallery exhibitions. Harrington developed and directs the Academy’s International Outreach Project, and organized its first initiative in 2007, a visiting artist program and film festival in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A second outreach trip to Iran in March of 2009 resulted in the Academy subsequently hosting a dozen Iranian filmmakers in Los Angeles for industry meetings, film screenings and professional training opportunities. The latest initiative saw the Academy partnering with the Los Angeles Film Festival to bring a group of filmmakers and an exhibition to the Havana Film Festival in Cuba, with follow-up programs in Los Angeles this summer.
Over her 30-year career, editor Carol Littleton has amassed more than 30 feature film credits across multiple genres and earned an Academy Award nomination for her work on “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial” (1982). Littleton’s diverse body of work includes “Places in the Heart” (1984), “The Accidental Tourist” (1988), “Benny & Joon” (1993), “Beloved” (1998), “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004), “The Other Boleyn Girl” (2008), “Country Strong” (2010) and the upcoming “The Rum Diary,” due out in October 2011. She has enjoyed two notable long-term collaborations – with director Lawrence Kasdan, for whom she edited “Body Heat” (1981), “The Big Chill” (1983), “Silverado” (1985), “The Accidental Tourist” (1988) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994); and with cinematographer John Bailey, her husband, for whom she edited “China Moon” (1994), his directorial debut. In 1987 Littleton was elected president of the Editors Guild and served two terms, only the second woman to hold that office. She also served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts for six years, representing the Editors Branch.
Phil Alden Robinson
Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, representing the Writers Branch, trustee of the Academy Foundation and Chairman of the Academy’s International Outreach Committee, Phil Alden Robinson has worn many hats for the organization. After writing the Steve Martin comedy “All of Me” (1984), Robinson combined his writing and directing talents on the comedy “In the Mood” (1987). His next writer-director effort, “Field of Dreams” (1989), earned three Oscar nominations, including Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. He went on to co-write and direct “Sneakers” (1992) and the TV movie “Freedom Song” (2000), about the Civil Rights Movement. His other directing credits include Part One of the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” (2001) and the feature “The Sum of All Fears” (2002).
Production designer Wynn Thomas started working in theatres as a teenager growing up in Philadelphia. Upon graduation from Boston University, Thomas went to New York where he was a production designer for the Public Theatre and the Negro Ensemble Company before transitioning into film production. Thomas apprenticed under production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein (Academy Award winner for “Amadeus,” 1984) before starting a longtime collaborator with director Spike Lee. Thomas and Lee have worked together for over 20 years, on projects including “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986), “Do the Right Thing” (1989), “Mo’ Better Blues” (1990), “Malcolm X” (1992) and “Inside Man” (2006). Other credits include Robert De Niro’s directorial debut “A Bronx Tale” (1993), “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” (1995), Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” (1996), “Wag the Dog” (1997), “Analyze This” (1999), Ron Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) and “Cinderella Man” (2005), “Get Smart” (2008), “All Good Things” (2010) and the upcoming “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” currently in post-production.
Alfre Woodard made her film debut in Alan Rudolph’s “Remember My Name” (1978) and went on to appear in Robert Altman’s “Health” (1980) and Martin Ritt’s “Cross Creek” (1983), for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Other films include “Scrooged” (1988), “Miss Firecracker” (1989), “Grand Canyon” (1991), John Sayles’ “Passion Fish” (1992), Morgan Freeman’s South African drama “Bopha!” (1993), “Crooklyn” (1994), “Star Trek: First Contact” (1996), “Primal Fear” (1996), Maya Angelou’s “Down In The Delta” (1998), “Mumford” (1999) and “Love & Basketball” (2000). Woodard’s work on television has garnered the actress five Emmy Awards® and sixteen nominations, most recently this year for “True Blood.” Additional feature credits include “Beauty Shop” (2005), “Take the Lead” (2006), “American Violet” (2008) and Tyler Perry’s “The Family That Preys” (2008). Woodard recently completed the first season of her new television show, "Memphis Beat."
More Participating Academy Members
Six-time Oscar-nominated producer Kathleen Kennedy has been involved with many of the industry's highest-grossing films. She earned her first producer credit for "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and has worked closely with director Steven Spielberg ever since producing such films as "The Color Purple" (1985), "Empire of the Sun" (1987) and "Jurassic Park" (1993). In 1984 Kennedy co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and her husband Frank Marshall and served as its president until 1992. She is currently a partner with Marshall in the Kennedy/Marshall Company. Her numerous executive producer credits include the "Back to the Future" trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990), "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988) and the Best Picture winner "Schindler's List" (1993). More recently, she received Academy Award nominations as producer of "The Sixth Sense" (1999), "Seabiscuit" (2003), "Munich" (2005) and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008). Recent projects include the upcoming "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," both scheduled to be released later this year. Kennedy serves on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Liz Manne was appointed Executive Director of FilmAid in February 2011. A long-time studio executive and independent producer, Liz Manne co-founded Fine Line Features with Ira Deutchman in 1990 and served as its Executive Vice President Marketing until 1997; films released during her tenure include “My Own Private Idaho” (1991), “The Player” (1992), “Hoop Dreams” (1994) and “The Sweet Hereafter” (1997). From 1998 to 2001, she served as Executive Vice President Programming and Marketing for Robert Redford’s Sundance Channel. In 2002, Manne was a co-founder, with Catherine Tait, of Duopoly, a boutique content production and consultancy firm, where she earned multiple producing credits, including “The Heart of the Game” (2005), “Fall from Grace” (2007) “A Dog Year” (2009), “3 Backyards” (2010) and “Lucky” (2010). She also served as an advisor to HBO Films for its theatrical releases including “Real Women Have Curves” (2002), “American Splendor” (2003), “Elephant” (2003) and “Maria Full of Grace” (2004). In 2009, Manne was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, where her focus is cultural diplomacy. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tom Tykwer is a German film director, screenwriter, composer and producer. Born in Wuppertal, Germany, he moved to Berlin in the 1980s and worked as a projectionist and booker in various independent art house cinemas. Tykwer is co-founder and partner of the Berlin-based film production company X Filme Creative Pool GmbH, and his filmography as director includes "Deadly Maria" (1993), "Winter Sleepers" (1997), "Run Lola Run" (1998), "The Princess and the Warrior" (2000), "Heaven" (2002), "Perfume – The Story of a Murderer" (2006), and "The International" (2009). In 2008 he co-founded the non-profit organization One Fine Day e.V., which promotes and supports artistic education in the ghettos of Nairobi (Kenya), and from which evolved One Fine Day Films.