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Two NYU Alumni Win Academy Awards

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday night, filmmaker Luke Matheny joined the set of New York University (N.Y.U.) alumni to be in possession of Academy Awards.

Matheny's youth and speedy, light-hearted remarks were a breath of fresh air during this year's Oscars ceremony. ("Should have gotten a hair cut," he said during his acceptance speech.) His graduate thesis film "God of Love" about a love triangle between a woman and two bandmates won the Oscar for Live Action Short. Matheny graduated from the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts last spring.

Another alumna, Lora Hirschberg, who got her Bachelor's from N.Y.U. in 1985, was part of the team that won an Oscar for Sound Mixing for "Inception" Sunday night. It beat out "The King's Speech," "Salt," "The Social Network," and "True Grit."

Matheny and Hirschberg were not the only ones representing N.Y.U. at the Oscars on Sunday. One of the event's two hosts, James Franco, is currently enrolled in the school's Masters film program and is expected to graduate in 2011. Franco, who emceed the 83rd Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway, was nominated for an Oscar in the Actor in a Leading Role category for his part in "127 Hours." But it was not in the cards for Franco to bring home an Oscar. Colin Firth got the award for his part in "The King's Speech."

Eight other N.Y.U. alumni were also nominated for awards this year, including Joel Coen for "True Grit"—he graduated from the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television in 1978—and Michael De Luca, who is one of the producers of "The Social Network. De Luca graduated from the school in 1995. Scott Rudin, who sits on the Dean's Council at N.Y.U., also produced several films that were nominated for awards.

In 1999, Keiko Ibi was the first N.Y.U. film student to win an Oscar for her student film. The former beauty queen from Japan graduated in 1998 and then won in the Best Documentary Short category for her graduate thesis film "The Personals." Other N.Y.U. grads who are also Academy Award winners are Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Marcia Gay Harden, Philip Seymor Hoffman and Ang Lee. Cohen won three Oscars for "No Country For Old Men" in 2008.

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