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February 19, 2007

UCSC alums up for Academy Awards on Feb. 25

By Scott Rappaport

Two UCSC alums will compete for Oscars at the 79th annual Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 25.

Photo of Steve Mirrione

UCSC alumnus Stephen Mirrione, shown in 2001 with the film editing Oscar he won for his work on Steven Soderbergh’s thriller Traffic.

Steve Mirrione has been nominated in the film editing category for Babel, and David Arata was tapped for best adapted screenplay for the film Children of Men.

This marks the second Academy Award nomination for Mirrione, who took home the 2001 Oscar in film editing for his work on the Stephen Soderbergh film Traffic.

Mirrione has previously served as editor for films such as George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck, 21 Grams, Ocean’s Eleven, Swingers, and Clockwatchers.

A former UCSC film student who earned his B.A. degree in theater arts from Porter College in 1983, Arata is the New York Times “Critic’s Pick” to win the Oscar in screenwriting. Arata’s writing credits include Spy Game (2001) starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt, and Brokedown Palace (1999) featuring Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale, and Bill Pullman.

On Saturday, February 24, the night before the Academy Awards, UCSC alumnus Aaron Platt will also vie for a 2007 Independent Spirit Award—the Oscars of the independent film world. (See Currents story).

Platt was nominated in the category of "Best Cinematography" for his work on the feature film Wild Tigers I Have Known--written and directed by fellow alumnus Cam Archer. The awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Sarah Silverman, will be broadcast live from Santa Monica on the Independent Film Channel (IFC), with an edited rebroadcast airing later that evening on American Movie Channel (AMC).

In other film news, two UCSC alumni received honors in the fourth annual American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest for work they completed in film and digital media lecturer Natasha V’s screenwriting class last year. American Zoetrope is Francis Ford Coppola's motion picture production company, and the contest’s aim is “to seek out and encourage compelling film narratives, and to introduce the next generation of great screenwriters to today's leading production companies and agencies.”

Nate Edelman (a 2006 graduate of Porter College with a B.A. in cinema and theater studies) was a semifinalist for his script "Scavengers of County Hell," and Matt Golad (a film and digital media major at Cowell College) was a quarterfinalist with "The Sutterman Bill." These first-time screenwriters were competing in a pool of 2,500 entries.


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