Samantha N Sheppard, JE Smyth Named 2021 Academy Film Scholars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named Samantha N. Sheppard and J.E. Smyth because the 2021 Academy Film Scholars on Monday.

The annual grant is given to established students whose tasks are targeted on some facet of filmmaking and the movie trade. The Academy’s Educational Grants Committee will award Sheppard and Smyth every $25,000 on the premise of their proposals.

Sheppard is an affiliate professor at Cornell University.  She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in Film and Television Studies and Women and Gender Studies from Dartmouth College. Her ebook venture, “A Black W/hole: Phantom Cinemas and the Reimagining of Black Women’s Media Histories,” will tackle the voids in cinema and media scholarship regarding Black girls’s inventive practices, histories, traditions, and discourses.  Through a collection of case research, Sheppard’s ebook will present histories and reimaginings of Black girls’s impression on American cinema.

“I am thrilled to receive recognition and support from the Academy for this book project, especially as the growing visibility of Black women in front of and behind the camera provides an occasion, if not the imperative, to examine Black women’s cultural production and impact on the past, present, and future media landscape,” Sheppard mentioned in a press release.

Smyth lives in England the place she is a professor on the University of Warwick. She holds a Ph.D. in Film Studies and American Studies, an M.Phil. in American Studies and an M.A. in History of Art from Yale University, in addition to a B.A. in History of Art from Wellesley College. Smyth is the writer of a number of books concerning the leisure trade, together with “Nobody’s Girl Friday: The Women Who Ran Hollywood,” and is a contributing author at Cineaste.  Her ebook venture, “Maisie: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Most Powerful Woman,” is the first-ever biography of Mary C. McCall Jr., the primary girl to be elected president of the Screen Writers Guild (again in 1942).  McCall guided Hollywood screenwriters by way of their first contract negotiations and credit score disputes and led the Council of Hollywood Guilds and Unions on the finish of World War II. She constructed a community of feminists who fought for recognition within the American movie trade, however finally sacrificed her profession to defend the final remnants of the Guild’s contract and dedication to freedom of speech throughout the Hollywood blacklist.

“Today, many people think Golden Age Hollywood was dominated by men. They’ve forgotten Mary C. McCall Jr., the three-time president of the Screen Writers Guild who had the guts to sue Howard Hughes at the height of the blacklist,” Smyth mentioned. “It’s time to remember her, and I’m thrilled and honored that the Academy is supporting her biography.”

Sheppard and Smyth be part of 16 Academy Film Scholars who’re engaged on tasks and 21 different students whose works have already been printed.  Academy movie students with tasks in progress embody Charles Musser, Emily Thompson, Stuart Liebman, John Belton, Cari Beauchamp, Dan Streible, Thomas Schatz, Laurence Kardish, Ellen Scott, Donna Kornhaber, Ross Melnick, James Andrew Tweedie, Allyson Nadia Field, Melinda “Mindy” Johnson, Racquel Gates and Rebecca Prime.
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