The Envelope, Please!

UC Riverside scholars offer insights, analysis of Academy Award nominees

drawing of old movie projectprRIVERSIDE, Calif. – As Hollywood prepares for the 87th Annual Academy Awards – a celebration of film that draws a global audience – on Sunday, Feb. 22, scholars at the University of California, Riverside are available to discuss  movie-making, film fans, and why some films that were popular with fans and critics failed to win nominations this year.

Derek Burrill, associate professor of media and cultural studies
(951) 827-1261

Burrill, who has studied the Academy Awards, says, “The Oscars this year will most likely be remembered as being a step backward for artists of color, particularly considering last year’s awards.  As far as individual films, ‘Boyhood’ looks poised to win big, not only because it’s a moving and compelling film, but also because of the way it was filmed over such a long period – the academy always loves films that celebrate the nature of film.  ‘Selma,’ sadly, seems to be lost in shuffle, partly because of when it was released, but also because of the ‘whiteness’ of the Academy’s voting patterns.’

Stu Krieger, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Media
(951) 827-1257

Krieger co-wrote the Emmy Award-winning mini-series “A Year in the Life,” and was the screenwriter of the Spielberg-Lucas animated classic, “The Land Before Time.” He was nominated for a Humanitas Prize for the Disney Channel original movie, “Going to the Mat.”  Of the controversy this year about certain films that were not nominated for an Oscar Krieger says, “The whole idea of ‘snubs’ ignores the fact that it’s simply a matter of who gets the highest number of votes. Someone can miss a nomination by a single vote, but it doesn’t automatically mean they’ve been ignored or shut out.”

Robin Russin, professor of screenwriting
(951) 827-2707

Russin has written, produced, consulted and directed on numerous film, TV and theater productions, including the box office hit “On Deadly Ground,” “American’s Most Wanted” on Fox TV, and “Vital Signs” on ABC. He has directed several short films and has been a finalist or winner of several screenwriting competitions. He co-authored “Screenplay: Writing the Picture,” which one reviewer called the “best book about screenwriting and being a screenwriter ever written,” and “Naked Playwriting.”

Toby Miller, distinguished professor emeritus of media and cultural studies
+44 7826 612814

Miller is the author and editor of over 30 books, has published essays in more than 100 journals and edited collections, and is a frequent guest commentator on television and radio programs. Among his books are “Global Hollywood” (2001) and “Global Hollywood: No. 2” (2008). Miller retired from UC Riverside in December 2013 and teaches now in the U.K. Among his many research interests is the success of Hollywood overseas.


On Thursday, Feb. 19, UCR theater professors Stu Krieger and Robin Russin and entertainment writer Stacy Davies will participate in the “Pre-Oscar Academy Awards” program presented by UCR Extension. The program will include film clips from nominees for best acting, writing and movie awards, backstory insights, and a question-and-answer period afterward. The event starts at 6 p.m. Reservations may be made online or by calling (951) 827-4105.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-7847
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