Every year Turner Classic Movies gets home audiences in an Oscar state of mind with its annual “31 Days of Oscar” showcase. Held every February, it’s a month-long celebration of Oscar-winning films leading up to the annual Academy Awards ceremony, and this year, the showcase will kick off with the premiere of a brand new documentary about the awards’ 85 years of history. It’s called, what else… “Oscar.”
Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (whose 1989 film “Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt” took home the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature), “Oscar” will feature interviews with many Academy Award-winning and nominated actors and actresses including Annette Bening, Ellen Burstyn, Cher, George Clooney, Benicio Del Toro, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Hudson, Ben Kingsley, Helen Mirren and more. Filmmakers and producers featured include Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Freida Lee Mock, Michael Moore, Jason Reitman and Phil Alden Robinson.
Thankfully, below the line contributors aren’t forgotten in all of this, as cinematographers (Janusz Kaminski), editors (Kirk Baxter), costume designers (Jeannine Claudia Oppewall, Jeffrey Kurland), makeup artists (Ve Neill), visual effects artists (Craig Barron) and sound engineers (Ben Burtt) are all on the role call of interviewees.
It promises to be a spectacular, definitive piece of work, and TCM is the natural place to debut the film.
“We”re delighted to partner with TCM on this extraordinary 85-year history of the Academy Awards,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Rob and Jeffrey are in the midst of producing a fantastic showcase of special Oscar moments that will take audiences on a memorable cinematic journey.”
“I can think of no better way to celebrate more than 85 years of Oscar than by telling the story of the Academy Awards,” said Jeff Gregor, general manager of TCM and chief marketing officer for TCM, TNT and TBS. “And there’s no network that can tell that story like TCM. We’re proud to make the February 2014 premiere of ‘Oscar’ the centerpiece of TCM’s annual 31 Days of Oscar, where it will be surrounded by a carefully curated lineup of more than 300 Academy Award-winning and nominated films.”
So be sure to check out “Oscar” when it premieres on Turner Classic Movies on Feb. 1. It will be one of several major programming events leading up to TCM’s 20th anniversary in April 2014 (when the annual TCM Film Festival hits Hollywood once again).