They are the more than 6,000 artists and professionals who bring the magic of the movies to life. They are the men and women who transport audiences to galaxies far away and to worlds long ago and who create the previously unimagined for the big screen. They are the entertainment industry’s preeminent filmmakers. They are Academy members. And now Julia Reichert , Yellow Springs filmmaker and professor at the Wright State University Motion Picture program is a member of the hallowed Academy. Ms Reichert joins 134 other new members just announced this week.
Julia began making films in 1970. With her partner, James Klein, she made many innovative films, including Growing Up Female, the first documentary about women from a feminist perspective; Union Maids, one of the first oral history films; Methadone: An American Way of Dealing, which challenged government policies on heroin addiction, and Seeing Red, a documentary film about American communists which earned them their second Academy Award nomination. She is a founder of New Days Films, a cooperative of filmmakers who do their own distribution. Reichert co-wrote and directed the feature film Emma and Elvis. She co-produced the acclaimed documentary Personal Belongings, directed by Steven Bognar, and the feature film The Dream Catcher, directed by Ed Radtke. Her four-hour documentary, A Lion in the House, about children with cancer, was televised nationally on PBS and the recipient of many awards, including a featured screening at Sundance and a nomination for the 2006 Independent Spirit Award as the year’s best documentary.
Her most recent production with Steven Bognar, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant was picked up by HBO was as Academy Award nominee in 2010 in the short documentary category.
History of the Academy:
The first Academy Awards were officially presented at a black-tie dinner at the Roosevelt on May 16, 1929. In the late 1920s and the 1930s the Academy was active in industry politics and labor-management issues, with mixed results. In 1937, during Frank Capra’s time as president, the Academy rewrote its bylaws and moved further away from involvement in labor-management arbitrations and negotiations.
A scholarship program for film students was established in the mid 1960s; starting in 1968, grants were awarded to film-related organizations and colleges for internships, film festivals and other projects. In 1972, the Academy began the National Film Information Service to offer access to library materials for historians, students and others outside Los Angeles. A year later, the Student Academy Awards Committee was established to recognize and encourage promising college and university filmmakers.