The Oscar-winning doc filmmaker joins Steven Spielberg among board newcomers
Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams is taking on greater responsibilities at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The Academy announced Monday Williams has been elected to the A.M.P.A.S. board of governors for the first time, representing the Documentary Branch.
He joins fellow board newcomers Laura Dern [Actors Branch], Sharen K. Davis [Costume Designers Branch], Steven Spielberg [Directors Branch], Laura Karpman [Music Branch], and Kevin Collier [Sound Branch].
Director Rory Kennedy and editor Kate Amend currently serve as the other two members of the Academy's Documentary Branch.
According to a press release from A.M.P.A.S., governors "may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms."
The Academy counts 17 limbs on its tree, each branch representing a different specialty within the motion picture business, including editing, public relations and executives. Per the Academy, "The Board of Governors sets the Academy's strategic vision, preserves the organization's financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission."
Williams' latest documentary is Life, Animated, the story of Owen Suskind and his family. At age three Suskind suddenly went silent, and was later diagnosed with "regressive autism." Remarkably, his parents were able to forge a common language with their son through Disney animated films, which Owen loved so much and watched so often he committed them to memory. [For my conversation with Williams and Owen's father, Ron Suskind, click here].
Williams won his Oscar for the 2010 documentary short Music by Prudence. His other credits include 2013's God Loves Uganda.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.