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Brandeis, UC Santa Cruz Professors Named Academy Scholars

By Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Nov 19, 2003, 11:53

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Beverly Hills, CA — Industry censor Joseph I. Breen and silent film director Lois Weber will be the subjects of projects by film professors from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and the University of California at Santa Cruz who have been named the 2003 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Thomas Doherty, chair of the Film Studies Program at Brandeis and Shelley Stamp, associate professor in the Film and Digital Media Department at UC Santa Cruz, are the fourth pair of film scholars to be selected by the Grants Committee of the Academy Foundation for the honor. Each will receive $25,000 from the Academy.

The two new Academy Film Scholars were selected on the basis of their proposals for new scholarly works presented to the committee.

Doherty will prepare a monograph exploring the life and legacy of Joseph I. Breen, who from 1934 until 1954 served as head of the Motion Picture Association of America's Production Code Administration. The monograph will be entitled "Joseph I. Breen: The Censor as Auteur."

Stamp will finish a book, "Lois Weber in Early Hollywood," about the director, writer and actress who, at the height of her career in 1916, was, Stamp says, "a director of unparalleled stature."

The first half of each $25,000 grant will be presented at a luncheon December 11 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The remaining half will be presented upon completion of the manuscripts.

Only established scholars, writers, historians and researchers with a significant record of achievement were considered for the grants, said Grants Committee Chair Janet MacLachlan.

The Academy Film Scholars program was created in 1999 to "stimulate and support the creation of new, innovative and significant works of film scholarship about aesthetic, cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures."

Members of the committee are: MacLachlan, an actors branch member; vice-chair Buffy Shutt, public relations branch; John Bailey, cinematographers; Tony Bill, directors; Daniel H. Blatt and Peggy Rajski, producers; Mitchell W. Block, short films and feature animation; Robert Doqui, actors; Arthur Hamilton, music; Mark J. Harris, documentary; and Andrew W. Marlowe, writers.

The two Academy Film Scholars will present their projects in lecture form at a public Academy event following the completion of their work.

Doherty and Stamp join six other Academy Film Scholars who currently are at work on their projects: Tino Balio, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Donald Crafton, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana; Jane Gaines, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Dana Polan, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; David Rodowick, King's College at the University of London, England and Steven J. Ross, USC.

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