Friday, February 20, 2015

Feel Good Friday - The Oscars

In anticipation of the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, today's Feel Good Friday takes a trip to Hollywood!

When you think of the Oscars, you may think red carpet, beautiful dresses and speeches or the fact that you haven't seen all of the nominated films. After today, I hope you'll also think of the educational programs the Academy provides.

As stated on their website, "The Academy supports other film-related organizations and institutions, provides opportunities for high school students - and movie fans of all ages - to further their understanding and appreciation of movies and the moviemaking process, and works to encourage interaction between public filmmakers of all types."

One of the offerings is a Media Literacy Program which, twice a year, sends 800 high school juniors from the Los Angeles Unified School District to visit the Academy, analyze film clips and meet filmmakers in order to "become aware of media messages encountered daily, improve analytical skills to evaluate those messages, and encourage provocative and thoughtful interaction with the media."

The Academy also produces a series of free teachers guides to "explore the art and science of motion pictures" and "to teach valuable lessons in critical thinking and creative writing and to develop literacy skills."  They sponsor visiting artists in order to create opportunities for direct contact between students and working film professionals.

There is also the Academy Film Scholars program that grants $25,000 to two individuals each year to research and write about various aspects of film - often  historical, cultural or scientific. And just when you thought they couldn't do any more, the Academy also supports film-related non-profits, individuals and film festivals through educational, internship and film festival grants!

So as you watch the Oscars on Sunday (or not), keep in mind there is a lot more to feel good about in addition to beautiful people making beautiful movies! Now get out your list of nominees and follow all the action on Twitter @TheAcademy!

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