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Honorary Fellow receives seventh Oscar nomination for film 'Hugo'

01 March 2012

Canterbury Christ Church University's Honorary Fellow and three-time Oscar winner, Thelma Schoonmaker Powell was one of five nominees for Best Film Editing at this year's Oscars.

Thelma Schoonmaker Powell in a recent visit to the University
Thelma Schoonmaker Powell in a recent visit to the University

Her work on Martin Scorsese’s film, Hugo, was the seventh nomination she has received in her long and illustrious career and underlines her reputation as one of the greatest film editors working in cinema today.

Hugo narrowly missed out on the Oscar for Best Film Editing at the ceremony on Sunday (27 February 2012). The accolade was awarded to ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’, but Hugo still walked away five Oscars on the night, including Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

Thelma’s association with the University, specifically the Department of Media, Art and Design, goes back to 1999 when she was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the University’s Powell Building. The building was named in honour of her late husband, the Canterbury-born film director Michael Powell.

Canterbury Christ Church University awarded Thelma an Honorary Fellowship in October 2008 and she regularly undertakes lectures with students about her experience.  Her most recent lectures have discussed her role as Martin Scorsese’s editor, the importance of film history, as well as her husband Michael Powell and his influence on Scorsese and a generation of filmmakers from around the world.

Thelma said: “All of us felt that working on Hugo was a joy.  It was particularly moving for me, because to help recreate the rescue of the very great filmmaker, George Méliés, from oblivion. This is really a distillation of all that Scorsese has done over the years, to rescue the work of the great masters from whom he learned so much.

“My late husband, Michael Powell, and his creative partner, Emeric Pressburger, were two of the filmmakers who benefited the most from Scorsese's passion for film history. He brought them and their work back to the world, as my husband wrote in his autobiography: ‘The blood started to run in my veins again.’ 

“Canterbury Christ Church's University’s devotion to the legacy of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is extremely important since it continues what Scorsese began. “

Thelma has won Oscars® for Raging Bull (1980), The Aviator (2004) and The Departed (2007), along with two Baftas® and four American Cinema Editor awards.

/Ends

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

•We are the third highest university in England for student employability, with 94.3% of our recent graduates in employment or further study six months after graduating*.

•Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).

•We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).

•2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Katie Scoggins
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