Thursday, February 16, 2012

News & Links 2/16/2012

The Academy has announced that 2005 Oscar host Chris Rock will present at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony. They have also announced Oscar winners Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted) will make appearances as well as actors Emma Stone; Bradley Cooper; Ben Stiller; and the cast of Bridesmaids, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph, and Oscar nominees Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

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The producers of the official Oscars pre-show, "Oscars Red Carpet Live," have announced that Robin Roberts, Tim Gunn, Louise Roe, Jess Cagle, and Nina Garcia will host this year's festivities. Executive producers Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare said in a press release, "We couldn't be more excited to be working with this red carpet team. Each brings something unique and different that will contribute to the show's overall dynamic and creative direction."

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has entered into an agreement with Everyone Counts Inc. to exclusively develop an electronic voting system for the 85th Academy Awards, to be held in 2013. Everyone Counts will work with PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has tabulated Oscar ballots for 78 years. The Academy has stated PwC's role in tabulating Academy members' votes will remain unchanged.

Over the next year, the Academy will undertake a rigorous security and user-acceptance testing process. "This is the first of many steps that we'll be taking toward developing a secure and convenient electronic voting system, beginning with next year's ballot," said Academy Chief Operating Officer Ric Robertson. "We're excited to have found great partners in the people who do this best."

The selection of Everyone Counts is the result of an 18-month search conducted by the Academy.

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Oscar Night America (ONA), the Academy's grassroots program that enables local charities to host Oscar viewing parties and raise money for their organizations, kicks off its nineteenth year in 2012. This year, 49 cities will host official Oscar viewing parties during the Academy Awards ceremony on February 26.

"Oscar night is an event meant to be shared with others. This network of fundraising parties across the nation is a natural extension of that experience, and also represents the year-round philanthropic work the Academy does," said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. "This February we are thrilled to be able to celebrate the movies with fans nationwide while supporting charities around the country."

The ONA 2012 locations are Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charlottesville, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Grand Rapids (MI), Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Greenville (SC), Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Springfield (MO), Tampa and Tucson.

Only one charity party in a given media market may participate in ONA. To set these parties apart from the thousands of other events taking place on Oscar Night, each ONA party receives from the Academy copies of the official commemorative poster and the official Oscar show program, among other items.

While most parties are black-tie affairs, some are less formal. Some partygoers dress up as famous couples and some events feature limousine arrivals and red carpets complete with local celebrities, paparazzi and press interviews for arriving guests. Events are entirely produced by local nonprofit organizations, with the active participation of the local ABC-TV affiliate station.

Last year's ONA celebrations had 17,332 attendees and raised over $3.5 million—all of it remaining in local communities—for such charities as the American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, United Way, Starlight Children's Foundation, and the Ellie Fund.

For more information, or to find your closest ONA location, visit http://www.facebook.com/OscarNightAmerica.

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