Beverly Hills, CA(RushPRnews) 02/21/09 â€” Faheem Ahmed and Anish Patel from Rice University have been selected as the Grand Prize winners for the first-ever â€œOscar Correspondent Contest,â€ a joint promotion by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTVâ€™s 24-hour college network. They have earned a spot on the red carpet for the 81st Academy AwardsÂ® arrivals this Sunday, February 22, and will also have access to the backstage press rooms and the Governors Ball. The winning teamâ€™s Oscar coverage will be posted on www.Oscars.mtvU.com the week of February 23.
â€œFahem and Anish were the top vote getters in this competition and I know this experience is going to be something they will remember forever,â€ said Academy President Sid Ganis. â€œThe red carpet at the Oscars is like no other and I know theyâ€™re going to give it their all while talking to the nominees and other special guests.â€
Ahmed and Patel beat out teams of college journalists from across the nation to win this opportunity. The Academy and mtvU selected an initial group of ten semi-finalists from the contest entries. Those ten semi-finalists competed for the most votes, and then were narrowed down to the top three.
â€œAt mtvU, weâ€™re constantly striving to uncover amazing talent on campus. Faheem Ahmed and Anish Patel truly demonstrated incredible talent and creativity in journalism, as did all of the finalists,â€ said Carlo DiMarco, Vice President of University Relations. â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to work with the Academy on this experience. Covering the red carpet at the Oscars is something these kids will never forget- itâ€™s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.â€
The three finalist teams were flown Los Angeles where they have and will continue to cover Academy Awards pre-events, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award Nominees Photo Op and Symposium, the Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Symposium and the Governors Ball preview.
A second online vote concluded today (February 20) during which Ahmed and Patel beat out the two remaining finalist teams to become the Grand Prize winners. Runners-up Megan Telles and Andrew Huse of San Diego State University, and Justin Shackil and Garry Van Genderen of Fordham University have earned bleacher seats along the red carpet as well as admission to an Oscar viewing party.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland CenterÂ®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
About the Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the worldâ€™s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards â€“ in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners â€“ the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.
Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses and via top cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, mtvU reaches upwards of 9 million U.S. college students â€“ making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on campus. mtvU programs music videos from emerging artists that canâ€™t be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change.
mtvU owns and operates the College Media Network, the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the United States, and RateMyProfessors.com, the Internetâ€™s largest listing of collegiate professor ratings. The College Media Network comprises nearly 600 campus publications, with a combined enrollment of over 5.5 million students, reaching an average of 5 million unique users each month. RateMyProfessors.com reaches approximately 2.9 million college students each month, via the siteâ€™s more than 6.6 million student-generated ratings of over 1,000,000 college professors. For more information about mtvU, and a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com
CONTACT: Tarrah Curtis â€“ (310) 247-3090
Janice Gatti – (212) 846-8852
photo credit:Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences