Posted February 24, 2016

Temple at the Academy Awards

Adam McKay isn’t the first Owl to be recognized for Hollywood’s top honor.

Several Oscar statuettes.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Temple Owls have a history of working on Oscar-nominated films.

Former Owl Adam McKay directed and co-wrote the movie The Big Short, which is up for five Academy Awards on Sunday. The film chronicles the collapse of the U.S. housing market from the perspectives of Wall Street players who predicted the crash. McKay is one of many Owls throughout history who have been nominated for filmmaking’s highest honor. 

That’s not a surprise. Temple’s film and media arts program has emerged as one of the leading academic and creative programs in the country. According to Doug Wager, associate dean of Temple's School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, the program provides graduates with the education and experience needed to forge a career in entertainment.

“Temple’s film and media arts program is a gateway into the profession at all levels, from independent film to the entertainment industry,” he said. “We offer top-tier training second to none in the field."

“For more than 40 years, the program has equipped and encouraged future filmmakers to work from a socially engaged contextual perspective, enabling them to create compelling documentary and original narrative projects that seek to engage and reflect the ethos of our human community,” said Wager.

Owls at the Oscars
Richard Brooks, TFM ’32, was the winner of the 1960 award for Best Screenplay for the film Elmer Gantry. He received nominations in the same category for The Blackboard Jungle in 1955 and In Cold Blood in 1967.

William Goldenberg, TFM ’82, has received a number of nominations for his work as a film editor. He took home the Oscar for Best Editing in 2013 for Argo, and was nominated in 1999 for The Insider, in 2003 for Seabiscuit, in 2013 for Zero Dark Thirty and in 2014 for The Imitation Game.

Irvin Kershner, TYL ’47, directed Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back, which won two Oscars in 1981. One was for Best Sound and the other was a Special Achievement Award for visual effects. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Music, Original Score.

Fiona Otoway, TFM ’14, was the film editor for Hell and Back Again, which was nominated in 2012 in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Paul Sylbert, CLA ’50, won the Academy Award for Best Production Design in 1978 for the film Heaven Can Wait. He was nominated in the same category in 1992 for his work on The Prince of Tides.

Joy Tomchin, CLA ’71, was nominated in 2012 for her role as an executive producer for Best Documentary Feature nominee How to Survive a Plague.

Lise Yasui, TFM ’88, earned a nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject in 1989. Yasui wrote, directed and produced the short film Family Gathering. She shared the nomination with Ann Tegnell, TFM ’80, who co-produced and edited the documentary.

This year, The Big Short is nominated in five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. The Academy Awards ceremony airs on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 8:30 p.m.

Related stories:
Owl earns Oscar nominations
Film edited by Temple grad student earns Oscar nomination
Temple alumnus wins Oscar for film editing