The Oscars are coming up in a month’s time and amid all the excitement, the film world was taken by surprise when Alone, Yet Not Alone had its nomination revoked. The film, which was nominated for Best Original Song, apparently did not adhere to nomination rules set by the Academy. Bruce Broughton, the composer/songwriter of the song with the same name, reportedly emailed some 70 Music Branch members and identified the song as one he had written, after which he requested those members to listen to it. According to the guidelines, voting should be done anonymously to prevent favouritism. Formerly an Academy Governor and currently a part of the Music Branch Executive Committee, Boughton should have been more cautious in his actions so as not to be seen as using his position to exert influence on others.
Among those who expressed their disgust were Oscar-winning producer Gerald Molen of Schindler’s List. He said that many people would see this decision as faith-based bigotry. He defended Boughton’s actions by saying that it was his way of campaigning since the film is not so well-known and is competing against contenders such as Frozen and Despicable Me 2, which have done exceptionally well at the box office.
Joni Eareckson Tada, the singer, slammed the Academy for being Anti-Christ, but also noted that the entertainment world is not the only industry to shun Christ. As an activist who is now paralysed as a result of a freak accident, she quotes hymns in her motivational talks. So, it was no surprise why she was chosen to sing the song. Nevertheless, she was ecstatic when she knew of the nomination given that the film was relatively unknown and was up against other blockbusters which have done much better than it in the box office.
Tada said that rival song promoters were sceptical about Alone, Yet Not Alone being a nominee especially when the film received a limited 11-day release and did not become a hit compared to other films. A private investigator masquerading as a researcher of the film was hired to discover advertising tactics and other criteria related to determining its worth of nomination.
Less than two weeks as a nominee, the Academy decided to scrap its nomination in view of protecting the Academy’s integrity. Tada, disappointed with the decision, said that if that was really the case (that Boughton had not adhered to the rules), he should be given back the nomination adding that since Boughton had previously assumed positions in the Academy, he must have been aware that he was not breaching any of the rules.
The film is based on a true story about two sisters who were taken away by Indians during the French and Indian war in 1775. Held in captivity for eight years, their faith was tested. Nevertheless, they found strength through the hymn taught by their mother. The hymn later reunited the mothers with her daughters, who were unrecognisable when they met her.
– Yong Jo Leen, Correspondent (Film)
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