The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named Racquel Gates and Rebecca Prime as its 2020 Academy Film Scholars. Both Gates’ book project, Hollywood Style and the Invention of Blackness, and Prime’s Uptight!: Race, Revolution and the Struggle to Make the Most Dangerous Film of 1968 explore the topic of race in Hollywood, and they’ve been awarded $25,000 from the Academy’s Educational Grants Committee for their proposals.
An associate professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, Gates (left) is the author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture and has had essays about Black film and media published in Film Quarterly, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She holds a Ph.D. in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University, an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Prime (right) is the associate editor of Film Quarterly with film and book reviews published by Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. She holds a Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, an M.A. from NYU’s Program in Culture and Media, and a B.A. in English and French from Columbia University.
Gates’ book project, Hollywood Style and the Invention of Blackness, will take a sweeping view of the stylistic construction of blackness in film and television by identifying key moments and case studies throughout film and television’s long histories. Prime’s Uptight!: Race, Revolution, and the Struggle to Make the Most Dangerous Film of 1968, will reveal the unusually troubled production of “Uptight,” a little-known film directed by Jules Dassin, and the first feature film to address the Black Power movement.
Marcus Hu, chair of the Academy’s Grants Committee praised the work by the two women: “Gates and Prime’s unique assessment of film history will shed invaluable insight. The Academy and our committee are incredibly proud to award grants to two deserving female scholars for the second year in a row, both of whose book projects address vital subjects that are more relevant than ever.”
Gates and Prime join 16 other Academy Film Scholars currently working on projects and another 20 scholars whose works have already been published.
The Academy Film Scholars program was established in 1999 to support significant new works of film scholarship, and Academy Foundation, the Academy’s cultural and educational wing awards annual grants to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad.
For more information, visit www.oscars.org/filmscholars.