Seven alumni invited to join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Cary Fukunaga
miranda july cr todd cole-225.jpg
Miranda July

Seven UC Santa Cruz alumni are among the 683 artists and executives who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year.

The world's preeminent film organization, the Academy is made up of more than 7,000 distinguished members working in cinema. Open to qualified filmmakers around the world, the Academy is best known for presenting the annual Academy Awards.

“On behalf of the Academy, I am honored to extend membership invitations to 683 distinguished filmmakers, artists, and executives who represent the best in our global film community, and who have a lasting impact on movie fans everywhere,” noted Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

“This class continues our long-term commitment to welcoming extraordinary talent reflective of those working in film today," she added.

The UC Santa Cruz invitees include:

  • Emmy award-winning director, writer, and cinematographer Cary Joji Fukunaga (College Eight, B.A. History,1999), who created and directed the HBO show True Detective and is known for his acclaimed films Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, and Beast of No Nation.
  • Producer Danielle Renfrew (Porter College, B.A. Community Studies, 1995), whose film credits include Waitress, Cobain: Montage of Heck, and The Queen of Versailles.
  • Computer graphics specialist Jonathan Gibbs (Grad Division, M.S. Computer Sciences, 1997), winner of a 2015 Academy Award in animation for technical achievement for the design and implementation of the DreamWorks Animation Foliage System, and whose credits include Antz, Shrek, and Madagascar 2.
  • Film director, screenwriter, and actor Miranda July (Undergraduate, Theater Arts), who wrote, directed, and starred in the films Me and You and Everyone We Know and The Future. July is also executive producer of the latest movie by indie filmmaker (and UC Santa Cruz alum) Amber Sealey, titled No Light and No Land Anywhere.
  • Film editor Kevin Nolting (Porter College, B.A. Aesthetic Studies, 1979), a longtime editor for Pixar, whose credits include Finding Nemo, Cars, Wall•E, and Up.
  • Designer Bert Berry (Porter College, B.A. Art, 2015), who has worked as an art director on such films as Finding Dory, Cars 2, and WALL•E, as a digital effects artist on Cars, and as a CGI artist on Finding Nemo.
  • Film, television, and theatrical producer Gail Katz (Porter College, Undergraduate), whose credits include Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, In the Line of Fire, and Pawn Sacrifice.
“These invitations are a tribute to the accomplishments of these alumni and the value of their professional judgment,” noted UCSC interim arts dean Bill Ladusaw.

“We are proud that UC Santa Cruz continues to infuse the entertainment industry with artists, critics, practitioners, and theorists who are passionate about their art and craft, but are also committed to addressing critical issues facing society,” he added.