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Film Academy’s Top Official, Members Breathe in to Organization Leaders – The Hollywood Reporter


Patrick Harrisona longtime senior official of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in New York, has been ousted by the organization, Hollywood Reporter to learn.

Harrison’s exit was notified to about 1,000 members of the academy’s Tri-State district in an email sent by the academy’s CEO last Friday. Bill Kramer And the boss Janet Yang. Admin began his career in 1991 as Assistant Executive Director of the Academy and left in 1995 to work on award campaigns for Miramax. He then returned to the Academy in February 2001, serving as Director of New York Membership and Programs until July 2022, when he was promoted to Vice President of Member Relations and Global Outreach.

“Since we met with you in October, there have been some changes in the Tri-State operation,” Kramer and Yang’s letter acknowledged. As some of you know, Present [Mancusi, Harrison’s deputy] He left the academy in the fall, and Patrick was on vacation. We are writing to tell everyone that Patrick has now left the Academy. We thank Patrick for his work, contributions and efforts and wish him all the best.”

On a Friday morning Zoom call scheduled before last week’s email, in response to a variety of other concerns that have been raised in recent months, Kramer and Yang were joined by dozens of Tri-State members. The meeting included the Oscar-winning screenwriter Jeffrey Fletcheran actress Dana Ivey and propaganda Donna Dickmanas well as the rulers of the academy Donna Gigliotti From the Branch Executives (also Vice President and Secretary of the Academy) and Wayne Thomas For the Production Designers Branch (also Vice President of the Academy). The departure of Harrison, a popular figure among members after 22 years as the main point of contact within the Academy and moderator for most Q&A after screening, was a major topic of discussion.

Some members have expressed dismay at the lack of transparency regarding Harrison’s “disappearances” in recent months. Kramer said he was and remains limited in what he can share—”It’s up to HR”—while Yang conceded, “Things aren’t handled as they could have been, but you’ll see positive change.”

Harrison did not respond to a request for comment.

Additionally, some members realized that in Harrison’s absence, Tri-State operations were overseen by Academy officials in Los Angeles—primarily SVP Member Relations and Global Outreach. Delcia Barrera and evp member relations and awards Sean Feeney Those who feel they are not aware of their fears.

For example, members are frustrated by the lack of a central Academy “home” in New York. From 2002 through 2015, the organization leased from Lighthouse International a portion of a building at 111 East 59th Street, which included a 220-seat theater and was the home of Harrison and Mancusi’s offices. But since the Academy was replaced by the sale of that property in 2015, members have not had a regular gathering space, instead moving between screening rooms at MoMA (which are particularly expensive to rent and which members of the VFX and Sound chapter have found to be lacking). and Dolby 24 and Dolby 88 projection rooms (which can accommodate a much smaller number of attendees).

An email that Kramer and Yang sent to Tri-State members last week announced that the Academy is “looking for additional spaces” for performances, and given that “more than 50 percent of Tri-State members live in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, NJ,” the Academy has concluded. recently a deal with Spring Place, a “multi-use space used by the film, art, and fashion communities” in Tribeca. The location will serve as a new base for the Academy staff that will eventually replace Harrison and Mancusi and a space for meetings and gatherings for members, as well as an upcoming Academy-sponsored event in time with the Tribeca Film Festival. (The Academy recently hosted a nightly Oscar viewing party for its members at its Tri-State venue Spring Place, which some members complained was downgraded from previous editions held in the Rainbow Room atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in downtown.)

Some members say they’d like to have a broader cross-section of their own — rather than a small “New York Leadership Committee,” which includes the conservators of the Documentary Branches. Chris Hegedos And Jean Tsian Consulted before closing the deal. They indicated that they had serious safety concerns given that the part of Tribeca where Spring Place is located is largely deserted at night, with only intermittent access to public transportation.

On Friday’s Zoom call, Kramer and Yang made it clear that none of these arrangements can be undone, and informed that efforts are underway to fill positions previously held by Harrison and Mancusi with others based in New York. They also noted that, in the meantime, the team of the Academy’s New York-based public relations firm, Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis, will work with Barrera and Finnie to make sure members’ needs are met. Kramer added that he will come to New York on April 23 to meet in person with any Tri-State members who wish to speak with him.

Comment reached by THR“Our community in the New York area is incredibly important to the Academy,” said Kramer. “We are listening to the concerns of our membership and are committed to continuing these conversations and making the important and needed changes. We also recognize that we need to reinvigorate our New York Leadership Committee and have more consistent communications with our members in New York.” We are increasing our presence in New York, reinstating screenings and events and securing new meeting space. Additionally, we have begun the process of reassigning staff for the New York office in order to create more spaces for our members to come together and celebrate the film as part of the global Academy community.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.