The title song from the independent Christian film "Alone Yet Not Alone" raised some eyebrows from Hollywood when it was nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Song this year. The film had only been in theaters for a week in September in selected cities to qualify for Oscar consideration, so most people had not even heard of the movie or the song performed by Joni Eareckson Tada.
Someone's feathers got ruffled, and a private eye was reportedly hired by a PR firm to see why a non-nominee was overlooked. One thing led to another and it was brought to the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Bruce Broughton, who co-wrote “Alone Yet Not Alone,” had emailed 70 members of the academy asking them to listen to the song. Academy governors ruled that this was improper campaigning due to Rule 5.3 which requires that the credits of composer and lyricist be removed from the DVD of eligible songs sent to members.
Broughton's name apparently had been removed from the DVD as required, but his name was on the email, and that was enough to cause the Academy to take the unusual step of taking away the nomination.
Why had the Academy come down so hard on this small faith-based film when, year after year, the big studios spend millions of dollars on all kinds of promotions to make sure their films, their actors, their directors and their songs get attention from Oscar voters?--David Horsey, LA Times
Why is this newsworthy? Because big Hollywood films routinely spend millions campaigning for Oscars with everything from full-page ads in Variety and other publications to lavish parties for Academy members to promote their films, actors and songs. The studios also regularly send DVDs to members of the Academy to ensure their films and songs get noticed by Oscar voters.
This seems to me to have been a normal practice for a long, long time, and yet the Academy has suddenly discovered lobbying in the case of this one song?"--Gerald Molen, Oscar-winning producer of “Schindler’s List,”
While there appears to be little doubt that Broughton crossed a thin, gray line when he emailed 70 Academy members about his song, the question is: why did the Academy come down so hard on him for what appears like a minor infraction in light of the glitzy parties, big ads and DVD campaigns conducted by major studios?
...the secular left only has to hear "evangelical," "conservative" and above all "Christian" to set them attacking like rabid dogs--Cal Thomas, Town Hall
Many believe it is another in a series of industry snubs of independent Christian films. After all, popular mainstream (left-leaning) publications have been quick to label the film with descriptions like: "right-wing evangelical film," and "religious right," and after all, we can't have a film from the "religious right" getting an Oscar nomination, now can we?
Even though the Academy called Broughton's line-crossing email "well-intentioned," others have accused Broughton of "gaming the system." However, as he points out in the attached video, he was last nominated for an Oscar 30 years ago -- hardly the track record of someone who knows how to game the system.
“Alone Yet Not Alone” will return to theaters this spring.
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