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    Academy Award Presentation

    A Joyful Acceptance

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Lazo | Brig. Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the Army, accepts...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazo 

    302nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    HOLLYWOOD, Calif., -- The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences typically awards Oscars during a live televised ceremony, known as the Academy Awards, in February or March. Nominations are announced six weeks prior, with the results strictly guarded before the event; a surprise to every one of the attendees and viewers at home. For the attendees of the ceremony held Sep. 3rd, the winner for the award had been revealed 65 years earlier.
    The Academy re-presented an Academy Award of Merit, commonly known as an Oscar, to the United States Army Sep. 3rd, at the Linwood Dunn Theater here, for the 1942 documentary "Prelude to War." Accepting on behalf of the Army, the Department of Defense and the Soldiers, was Brig. Gen. Jeffrey E. Phillips, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs for the Army.
    "First of all, I would like to thank the Academy," said a joyful Phillips.
    "Thank you to the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences for seeing this award back to its place, in the hands of the Army and Soldiers," said Phillips.
    After accepting the award, Phillips presented the award to Spc. Ashleigh Torres, a broadcast specialist, "Who represents the future of our Army," Phillips added.
    Torres, an Illinois native, described the event as "a once a lifetime experience," and acknowledged the importance of Maj. Frank Capra's work to the Army and the Public Affairs field.
    "It sets a great example to anyone who is in the Public Affairs field... we're here to tell Soldier's stories... and that's what he did and he got awarded for it," said Torres, "and we should all look up to him."
    The award was presented to Phillips by Sid Ganis, President of AMPAS, who spoke of the importance of the film and the history of the Oscar awarded to the Army.
    The film won for best documentary in 1942, but unlike today, the U.S. Army was awarded a plaque.
    Because of newly introduced war effort, there was a shortage of metals and the Academy began presenting Oscars plaques made of plaster to awardees, said Ganis.
    "After the war, everyone who had received a plaster Oscar during the war... and had received plaques had been replaced with shinny gold Oscars as well," said Ganis. The original replacement Oscar is still in the care of Maj. Frank Capra's family.
    In 1958, the DOD contacted the Academy and requested a duplicate award that could be displayed as part of a special exhibition, said Ganis. The Academy approved and another statuette, with the same engraved citation and bearing the serial number 827, was given to the DOD, he added. After the exhibition, the statuette was displayed at the Army Pictorial Center in New York. After the center closed in 1970, the statuette disappeared, said Ganis, until earlier this year when Christie's Auction House posted an Oscar for sale, bearing the serial number 827.
    When the Academy notified the auction house, the Oscar was returned to the Academy to be officially re-presented to the Army.
    PRELUDE was produced by Maj. Frank Capra's U.S. Army filmmaking unit in 1942 and was the first film of a seven-part series titled "Why We Fight," aimed at demonstrating to troops and to the American population, the reasons for America's involvement in World War II. Commissioned by then Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, PRELUDE became required viewing for all troops overseas after its release and was submitted to the Academy for consideration in the new documentary category by Capra.



    Date Taken: 09.03.2008
    Date Posted: 09.05.2008 18:57
    Story ID: 23278
    Location: HOLLYWOOD, CA, US 

    Web Views: 271
    Downloads: 229