Academy Award winner Michael Moore has joined fellow Oscar winners Rob Epstein and Lynne Littman on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors, representing the Documentary Branch, it was announced Wednesday by AMPAS.
The election of Moore to represent the documentary branch marks something of a milestone for the Academy - after all, it was Moore's 2003 win for BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE that marked a major turning point for the docu branch. A rules change made just prior to the year of COLUMBINE's victory made certain that a film needed to have a theatrical release (although just what constituted a "theatrical release" has remained an issue ever since). It was a rule change brought about by years of Academy mis-steps on popular, critically-acclaimed and genre-defining nonfiction features, including, not incidentally, Moore's own ROGER AND ME.
Moore's election is also noteworthy because his future in nonfiction filmmaking seems - at least by his account - unclear. Doing press for CAPITALISM, Moore suggested that the film might be his last documentary. Conversely, Moore has been active in creating new opportunities for other documentary filmmakers - from his Traverse City Film Festival to his calls for theaters to set aside one night a week for documentaries.
Littman won the Oscar for Documentary Short in 1976 for NUMBER OUR DAYS, while Epstein has twice won the Feature Doc award, for 1984's THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK and 1989's COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT. After his win for COLUMBINE, Moore was nominated again for 2007's SICKO. His most recent film, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY missed the Academy's short list last year.
Moore replaces Richard Pearce.