Photo courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
By Nichei Bei
When the 84th Academy Awards ceremony is held on
Feb. 26, a pair of films with ties to Asia and Asian Americans will be vying
for an Oscar.
Those films up for an Academy Award are “Kung Fu Panda 2,” nominated
for best animated feature film, and “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom,”
nominated under the short subject documentary category.
“Kung Fu Panda 2,” a DreamWorks Animation film, follows the
continuation of Po’s story as the legendary dragon warrior. The affable and
portly panda faces his past as a new threat bears down on China, threatening
the very existence of kung fu. Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed the popular sequel.
“The Tsunami and the
Cherry Blossom” is a 40-minute documentary depicting tales of survival and
grief following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that struck northern
Japan, overlaid with the symbolism represented by cherry blossoms. The film
features interviews of survivors and the documentation of cherry blossom trees
that survived the calamity blossoming amid the wreckage of twisted metal and
Additionally, in a
pre-Academy Awards ceremony held Saturday, the Fujifilm Corp. was presented
with an Academy Plaque for the Scientific and Engineering Award. Hideyuki Shirai,
Dr. Katsuhisa Ozeki and Hiroshi Hirano, who designed and developed Eterna-RDS
4791, were named as the award’s recipients. The black-and-white recording film was
specifically designed for laser film recording and is widely used by the film
industry today for archival preservation of film and digital images.