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Monday 22 February 2016

The Academy Awards: Solent's Stars

Film stars will once again be taking to the red carpet hoping to bring home the holy grail of the film industry at the 88th Academy Awards on 28 February in Hollywood. Our film experts tell us why the Oscars are so important; who they think will win; and we celebrate our links with the film industry’s top awards.

Senior Lecturer Media Production Julian Konzak explains why the Oscars are known as the biggest awards ceremony in the film industry:

“They are a showcase of creativity in an industry that is driven by marketing and money. The eyes of the world are focused on this event and an Oscar win is the key to opening even more doors in this industry.”


Will Leo get the Oscar?

The question on everyone’s minds right now is ‘Will Leonardo DiCaprio win an Oscar for his performance in Revenant?’

The hard-hitting film based on a true story has split audiences but something the majority of people can agree on is Leo’s epic performance.

Visiting Fellow and actor Dirk Robertson said: “I think the Revenant will sweep all in front of it. Leonardo DiCaprio is a great example of an actor who treads all roads at once.”


Solent on the red carpet

Alumnae and Honorary Doctor of Design, Jenny Packham, has added glitz and glamour to red carpets around the world. Her career in fashion has gone seamlessly well and her creations are worn by A-listers and royalty alike.


Jenny has dressed some of Hollywood’s biggest names – including Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie and Kiera Knightly – in her stunning floor-length creations that never disappoint the crowds. On receiving her honorary doctorate from Solent in 2008 she told students wanting a career in fashion: “Being successful in this field is all about being determined, not giving up, and trusting your instincts.”

Visiting Fellow Water Murch delivering a talk to students last year

Oscar fellows

We have a number of talented Visiting Fellows who have won or been nominated for Oscars in the past: Anne Coates Oscar-winning film editor and BAFTA Fellow, Anne V Coates is a keen supporter of Solent University’s film and media courses and usually visits us on her trips to the UK. Anne has given guest talks and critiqued final-year student work. She is best recognised as the Oscar Award-winning editor of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962), making her the first female editor to ever win an Oscar. Walter Murch Film editor and sound designer Walter Murch is known for editing a number of celebrated films including: Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I and II, and The English Patient. During his career he has received nine nominations and three Oscar wins. Last year, he visited our film students during their annual edit day where he gave an insight the history of film and his career.


Paul Franklin

Visiting fellow and Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Franklin has won two Academy Awards; one for his work on Inception and most recently for Interstellar.

Speaking about his role in the film industry Paul says: “It is our job to create a seamless illusion of photo reality. The trick is to hide the joins so that the audience doesn’t know where reality ends and fantasy begins.”

It’s an honour

“A great movie evolves when everybody has the same image in their heads.” – Sir Alan Parker

Sir Alan Parker

This director, screen writer and producer’s films has won nineteen BAFTA awards, ten Golden Globes and ten Academy Awards. Sir Alan Parker has been responsible for some of the last few decades film classics including: Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, The Commitments and Evita.

A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, Sir Alan Parker lectures at film schools across the world, including Southampton Solent. The University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in 2012 for his outstanding contribution to the arts.

Julian Fellowes

Actor, writer, director and producer, Julian Fellowes, was awarded a Doctor of Arts by Solent in 2010 for his major contribution to the film industry – both as a highly successful, Oscar-winning screenwriter and as a multi-talented British actor. The man behind hit period drama Downton Abbey won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2002 for Gosford Park.


Jeremy Irons
Internationally acclaimed actor, Jeremy Irons, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Southampton Solent University in 2008. Jeremy won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Reversal of Fortune in 1991. Jeremy will be hitting the big screen again when he plays Alfred in Batman v Superman.

On receiving his Hon Doc from Solent he told the assembled graduates: “It doesn’t matter what you do in life – you’re only here a short time – just try to make sure you do it to the best of your ability and that you enjoy it, because then you will do it well.”