A.M.P.A.S. Unveils ’05 Poster, Selects Docus To Compete

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled its commemorative poster for the 77th Academy Awards Wednesday–a design created by Brett Davidson, an unknown newcomer who has been on staff at the Academy for 10 years and currently serves as the organization’s information systems support specialist.

Davidson’s design was chosen through a blind selection process by Academy executives and members of its Board of Governors. “We looked at dozens of designs but there was something about Brett’s image that we all were drawn to; it was a unanimous decision,” the Academy’s executive director Bruce Davis said in the press statement. “It was only after we had made the decision that we found out the designer was one of our own staff. It’s great for Brett to have this opportunity.”

“I was so excited when I found out my design had been chosen,” said Davidson, who studied both film and graphic design at the University of Miami in Florida. “Graphic design has always been my passion, so it’s unbelievably gratifying that my work will be used to promote such a prestigious event.”

Meanwhile, Variety reports the Academy has picked the 12 finalists who will compete for a coveted nomination in the Best Documentary category, including Morgan Spurlock‘s Super Size Me, a searing look at the fast-food industry; Stacy Peralta‘s surfing opus Riding Giants; Mark Wexler‘s Tell Them Who You Are, a moving portrait of Wexler’s father, director Haskell Wexler; and Kevin MacDonald‘s Touching the Void, a docu based on the book by Joe Simpson about his mountaineering adventures in the Peruvian Andes.

Other titles on the short list were Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman’s Born Into Brothels, about impoverished children of prostitutes in Calcutta and Jessica Yu‘s In the Realms of the Unreal, which follows the life of Henry Darger, a Chicago janitor who penned the 15,000-page children’s fantasy novel of the same name.

Michael Moore, who won an Oscar for his previous effort Bowling for Columbine, took his controversial Fahrenheit 9/11 out of the running in the category, contending the move was aimed at opening up the docu race. The film is instead taking a stab at a Best Picture nod.

A handful of other documentaries that should have gotten noticed were disqualified due to having aired on television, either domestically or abroad, including Jehane Noujaim‘s Control Room, a look at the Al Jazeera’s coverage on the Iraq war. Also missing was Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, the fascinating portrait of the ’80s metal band, who became riddled with internal strife.

Academy Awards will be presented on Feb. 27, 2005, at the Kodak Theatre and televised on ABC.