Two professors named Academy Scholars

Nov 02, 2002 by Ian Evans

Film professors from King’s College at the University of London and the University of Southern California have been selected as 2002 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

David Rodowick, professor and chair in film studies at King’s College at the University of London, England, and Dana Polan, professor of critical studies at the School of Cinema and Television at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, are the third 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.

Rodowick will undertake a review of the replacement by digital technologies of almost every aspect of filmmaking and filmviewing over the past two decades, and the expected disappearance of celluloid film stock over the next decade, to be entitled “The Virtual Life of Film.”

Polan will complete research he has been conducting on “The Beginnings of American Film Study,” examining the steps by which academia has been able to accept cinema as a subject worthy of study.

The first half of each $25,000 grant will be presented at a luncheon December 16 at the Beverly Hills 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; Daniel H. Blatt and Peter Samuelson, Producers; Mitchell Block, Short Films and Feature Animation; Donn Cambern, Film Editors; Robert Doqui, Actors; Arthur Hamilton, Music; Mark Harris, Documentary; Delbert Mann, Directors; and Daniel Taradash, Writers.

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

Rodowick and Polan join four 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 and Steven J. Ross, USC.