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Oscar ballots not so clear to some voters

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, at 9:14 a.m.

It’s officially Oscar season, as nomination ballots were recently sent to the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. But it seems some are confused by the ballots, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Academy announced last summer that this year there would be up to 10 best picture nominees (as it has done in the past couple of years), but that there could be as few as five films nominated. This was designed to offer “surprises” in the Oscar race, and not “fill” out the category with unworthy films (“District 9,” I’m talkin’ to you).

Apparently, the ballots members received only had five slots under best picture – not 10. What’s a poor voting member to make of this?

Well, higher-placed votes are key (members list their choices in order, or are supposed to). Often, a voter’s third or fourth choice is never even counted. The preferential voting system is set up to “identify films that many people love, not that most people like,” according to the Reporter.

The nomination ballots are due by Jan. 13; nominations will be announced Jan. 24.

Make those votes count, Academy. We’re waiting to see how wrong you are. I mean, what your choices will be.

Tallgrass hits the road – Wichita’s Tallgrass Film Association will kick off its 10th year with the “Tallgrass Film Festival Road Show,” a curated program that will travel to various Kansas theaters this year. The show will include festival programmers’ favorite short films that have played at the annual Tallgrass Film Festival.

The first Road Show starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at the McPherson Opera House, 221 S. Main in McPherson. Tickets are $3 at the door. Proceeds benefit the theater.

The short films span all genres and include several films from Kansas filmmakers, international shorts and an Academy Award nominee. The program is designed to give the people of Kansas a taste of past Tallgrass Film Festivals and a preview of festivals to come.

For more information, go to www.tallgrassfilmfest.com.

Casting call – Wamego-based filmmaker Steve Balderson has announced that he is now casting his new film “The Adventures of the Far-Flung Star.”

Written by Frankie Krainz, the film begins production in March 2012 in Los Angeles and will wrap in Hong Kong. Kansas-area actors and crew of any age and race can submit themselves for consideration by going to www.dikenga.com. You’ll be prompted to read a manifesto by Balderson that explains his filmmaking style and philosophy.

Balderson’s films have received worldwide acclaim. His latest, “The Casserole Club,” won five Independent Vision Awards in New York City earlier this year.

Balderson is known for his eclectic casting, using such actors as ’70s actress Karen Black, ex-Go-Gos band member Jane Wiedlin and ex-Backstreet Boys crooner Kevin Richardson in his films.

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