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SFSU cinema professor is available to provide commentary on Academy Awards



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs

(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs

Steven Kovacs, a former Oscar nominee, can discuss predictions, top films, industry trends

SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, 2002 --- Steven Kovacs, a professor of cinema at San Francisco State University and expert on mainstream Hollywood films, is available to comment on Oscar predictions, the top films of 2001, and industry issues and trends affecting the Academy Awards.

Kovacs predicts that "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings" will win Best Picture.

"The number of nominations a film gets is an indicator of what will win. It will be surprising if 'Lord of the Rings' doesn't get several awards," he said. "The Academy tends to be a liberal group, but its members are in show business and tend to be mercurial. What's hot one year won't be hot the next year."

Kovacs can also offer some insight into film studios' intense public relations campaigns to persuade voters to choose their films.

"The Academy Awards is about money and prestige, and production companies spend a lot of money on ads and publicity to get their films to win," he said. "Miramax has gone to the extreme. In fact, the Academy made rules after 'Slingblade' won (Best Adapted Screenplay in 1996) because of the incredible money that Miramax spent. On top of all the ads and publicity, Miramax had its staff call every Academy member. Now you are not allowed to do that."

A seasoned film producer and screenwriter, Kovacs co-produced "Arthur and Lillie," which was nominated for Best Documentary Short in 1976. He teaches courses on cinema theory, musicals, American genres of cinema, film writing, and film and society. He also wrote the book "From Enchantment to Rage: The Story of Surrealist Cinema" and has published articles in Film Quarterly, Variety and Sight and Sound. Kovacs is president of Class Productions, a production and distribution house for films and TV programs.

Kovacs can be reached at (415) 338-6521 (office), (415) 759-0201 (home) or

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. PST Sunday, March 24, and will air on ABC.

Founded amid the political activism and artistic experimentation of the 1960s, the SFSU Cinema Department has educated generations of filmmakers including Academy Award winners Steven Zaillian (Best Screenplay, "Schindler's List," 1994), Christopher Boyes (Best Sound Effects, "Titanic," 1998) and Steve Okazaki (Best Documentary, "Days of Waiting," 1991). Entertainment Weekly named the department one of the nation's top ten film schools last year.

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Last modified April 24, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs