Documentary Feature Film Earns Oscar Nomination
If the list of Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature taped to Stephany Slaughter’s office door tells you anything, it’s that she’s excited.
On the morning of Feb. 2, the Alma College assistant professor of Spanish was awake and in front of her computer to see if “Which Way Home,” a documentary film for which she was a field producer would be announced as a nominee.
To her surprise, it was.
“I wasn’t sure if the film would get the nomination,” she says. “But I was so excited when I found out. I did a little dance, and then I called the film’s director, Rebecca Cammisa.”
Poster for 'Which Way Home'
The one question everyone wants to know, Slaughter says, is if she’ll be attending the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony in support of the film, which follows unaccompanied child migrants on their journey across Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States. The answer is probably not.
“I don’t know how it all works, but I believe each film must get a certain number of tickets,” she says. “I can’t imagine there will be enough for everyone involved.”
But she will be just as content without the red carpet and flash bulbs. Slaughter anticipates she will celebrate the nomination by watching the awards ceremony at home with family and friends, who are equally as excited about the good news.
The reactions from her colleagues and students also have been supportive, and she has received quite a few congratulatory e-mails since the announcement.
“It means a lot to me,” she says. “I’m surprised that people followed the nomination process on their own.”
If “Which Way Home” doesn’t win a golden statuette on Oscar night, Slaughter won’t be a sore loser. She sees plenty of benefits from the nomination alone.
“Being nominated really is as good as winning,” she says. “What do you want from a documentary? You want people to see it, to think about and talk about the topic. After making the short list, there was a wave of interest. I expect there will be more now.”
While 89 films originally qualified in the Best Documentary Feature category, 15 advanced to the semifinal list, and five snagged Oscar nominations. The ceremony will air on Sunday, March 7 at 8 p.m.
“Which Way Home,” which has been broadcast on HBO and screened at film festivals in the United States, Europe and Mexico, is coming to the Alma College campus soon. A screening, along with a question-and-answer session, is planned for the first week of April. Slaughter is hopeful Cammisa will be in attendance.
An official DVD release date is pending, with a current plan to sell copies on the film’s Web site.
Posted: Mon, February 8th, 2010 at 8:24AM