While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, deserved or not, has a reputation as one of the most fusty institutions in Hollywood, the organization behind the Oscars is launching a surprising and welcome step toward broadening the conversation about cinema, and about who can and should participate in that discussion. Starting today, the Academy is releasing a diverse slate of digital short documentaries about the moviegoing experience and filmmaking.
"We see an opportunity to tell stories that other people aren't telling, to tap into the access and resources and membership that we have," Josh Spector, the Academy's managing director of digital media and marketing, told BuzzFeed. Since starting in late 2011, Spector has built a small team that has dramatically increased the Academy's online profile, including an active social media presence. But these docs represent the first major effort in years by the Academy to create its own original content.
The Academy is launching its effort with three short films.