NYU Alumni Magazine Spring 2010


Alumni on the Hunt for Awards Season Gold

Geoffrey Fletcher (TSOA ’99) became the first African-American screenwriter to win an Academy Award when he took home the Best Adapted Screenplay statue this year for the drama Precious, for which he also won Best First Screenplay at the Film Independent’s Spirit Awards…

Letters to Juliet

Juan José Campanella (TSOA ’78, ’88) snagged the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes), which he wrote and directed… Nickie Ran Huai (SCPS ’04), Shahar Levavi (SCPS ’04), and Brett McConnell (SCPS ’03) worked as part of the groundbreaking visual-effects team on James Cameron’s $400-million-blockbuster Avatar, which won three Oscars—including Best Visual Effects—of nine total nominations, among them Gwendolyn Yates Whittle’s (TSOA ’84) nod for Best Sound Editing… Sally Menke (TSOA ’77), who edits all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, was up for Best Film Editing for Inglourious Basterds… The dark comedy A Serious Man earned Joel Coen (TSOA ’78) and brother Ethan two Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, as well as a nod for Best Director at the Spirit Awards, where they were also honored with the Robert Altman Award alongside the film’s casting director Rachel Tenner (WSC ’92)… Cary Joji Fukunaga’s (TSOA nongrad alum) immigration thriller Sin Nombre, which he wrote as his NYU graduate thesis, scored three Spirit Award nods, including Best Director and Best Feature… The star-studded musical Nine, produced by Marc Platt (LAW ’82), racked up four nominations at the Oscars and five more at the Golden Globe Awards… Alec Baldwin (TSOA ’94) pulled off a hat trick this awards season with three Best Actor wins—at the Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards—for his role as the sharp-tongued network suit on the NBC comedy 30 RockThe Hangover, directed by Todd Phillips (TSOA ’94), was named Best Comedy at the Golden Globe Awards, where Martin Scorsese (WSC ’64, STEINHARDT ’68, HON ’92) was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement… Michael C. Hall (TSOA ’96) won Best Actor statues at both the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for his performance as the titular serial killer on Showtime’s DexterSteve Bodow (TSOA ’95), David Javerbaum (TSOA ’95), and Elliott Kalan (TSOA ’03) scored Emmys for Outstanding Writing for their Comedy Central hit The Daily Show With Jon StewartStefani Germanotta (TSOA nongrad alum), aka Lady Gaga, took home two Grammys for her multiplatinum debut album, The FameKaren Orzolek (TSOA ’01), better known as front woman Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, was up for two Grammys, including Best Alternative Music Album… At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Debra Granik (TSOA ’01) won both the dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for writing and directing the bleak family tale Winter’s Bone, with cinematography by Michael McDonough (TSOA ’98)… Nick Quested (TSOA ’93) executive produced Restrepo, which follows a platoon in Afghanistan and was chosen for the U.S. documentary Grand Jury Prize… Audience awards at the festival went to Lucy Walker (TSOA ’98) for her documentary, Waste Land, about scavenging at the world’s largest landfill, in the World Cinema competition, and TV actor Josh Radnor (TSOA ’99) for his debut comedy happythankyoumoreplease, which he wrote, directed, and starred in… The Best of Next award—honoring a low-budget film—was given to Homewrecker, the screwball romantic comedy co-directed by Brad Barnes (TSOA ’05), who penned the script with Sophie Goodhart (TSOA ’03). Fellow alum Daniel Vecchione (TSOA ’09) was the film’s cinematographer… Barbara Whitman (GAL ’88) is a producer of the Tony Award-winning musical Next to Normal, now in its second year on Broadway… Next month’s romantic comedy Letters to Juliet stars Vanessa Redgrave and Amanda Seyfried, and was inspired by the eponymously named book by Ceil and Lise Friedman (GAL part-time professor).

—RenÉe Alfuso

Photo © Top: John P. Johnson / Summit Entertainment; Side: Todd Wawrychuk/A.M.P.A.S.

Geoffrey Fletcher