A host of Oscar activity has begun to unfold despite the annual award show still being more than three months away. The show's head writer, as well as its short-film creator, was announced recently.
As expected, the guru of award show writers, Bruce Vilanch, was once again tapped for the celebrated lead writer position at this year's Academy Awards show.
Vilanch, who has written nine Oscar shows, is arguably one of the most sought after comedy writers in Hollywood. He has worked on numerous award shows, including the Tonys, the Emmys and the Grammys. His story was recently the subject of documentary filmmaker Andrew J. Kuehn's "Get Bruce."
Oscar-winning director Chuck Workman ("Precious Images") was charged with creating the short-film segments that will air during the awards telecast. Marking his 11th association with the Academy, Workman's previous film work includes the documentaries "Superstar" and "The Source."
Finally, 11 U.S. film festivals will receive grants totaling $245,000 from the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy President Robert Rehme made the announcement Dec. 7.
Festivals benefiting are AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, Chicago Latino Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival at $30,000 apiece; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, South by Southwest Film Festival and USA Film Festival at $15,000 each; and Santa Clarita International Film Festival and Thomas Edison Black Maria Film and Video Festival at $10,000 each.
The festivals were selected by the festival grants committee, which is led by producer Gale Anne Hurd.
The 72nd Academy Awards telecast takes place March 26 at 5:30 p.m. PST.