Oscars officials have missed out on making history this year (09) by refusing to rejig rules about co-directors landing nominations. Film critic and blogger Jan Lisa Huttner insists Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire partner Loveleen Tandan, who is credited as a co-director, could have become the first woman of colour to land a Best Director nod - if Academy members had simply considered her.
Oscar rules state that only one person can be nominated for the Best Director prize, but Huttner, a founder of advocacy initiative Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now (WITASWAN), is using Tandan's case to push for a change in voting.
Huttner insists she's not attacking Boyle, who is nominated for the Best Director prize at the Oscars on 22 February (09), but an outdated Academy stipulation, which fails to reward those involved in the filming process.
She raised the issue before the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month (Jan09), asking readers of her blog, TheHotPinkPen.com, to write to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and suggest Tandan should be rewarded for her co-directing efforts as a nominee and potential winner.
She wrote, "If Loveleen Tandan was Danny Boyles co-director then, why isnt she his co-nominee now? I sincerely believe this question deserves an answer, but unless we all ask, well never get one."
And now Huttner hopes her campaign prompts Oscar bosses to reconsider their rules.
She explains, "In 80 years, only three women have ever been nominated for a Best Director Oscar - Lina Wertmueller, Jane Campion and Sofia Coppola - and only two men of colour - John Singleton and Ang Lee, who won for Brokeback Mountain.
"If Loveleen Tandan is co-nominated for her work on Slumdog Millionaire, then she will be the first woman of colour ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar, and if she wins, she will be the first woman ever accorded this great honour. In my review of Slumdog Millionaire, I call it 'the first great film of the new flat world,' so isn't this the right Cinderella ending for this wonderful film?"