Jackie Chan to get an Oscar

Hong Kong martial arts star Jackie Chan will be the first Chinese to receive the honorary Oscar award when it is presented to him on Nov 12.
Hong Kong martial arts star Jackie Chan will be the first Chinese to receive the honorary Oscar award when it is presented to him on Nov 12.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • Jackie Chan, a legend of martial arts cinema, will receive an honorary Oscar at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards on Nov 12.

He will be the first Chinese and the fourth Asian to win the award, which has also gone to Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, Indian film-maker Satyajit Ray and Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki.

Chan has appeared in - and sometimes written, directed and produced - more than 110 movies, most of them made in his native Hong Kong. He received crossover success with Rumble In The Bronx (1995) and Rush Hour (1998).

Lately, he has contributed voice-over work to the Kung Fu Panda animated series. He has never been nominated for an Oscar.

The academy has been stung this year by criticism about a lack of diversity among nominees and for jokes during the last Oscars ceremony that some Asian members found offensive.

It announced its selections - Chan, 62; film editor Anne V. Coates, 90; documentarian Frederick Wiseman, 86; and casting director Lynn Stalmaster, 88 - on Thursday.

The group's 54-member board, which represents about 7,000 members, picked the recipients in a vote on Tuesday. Ms Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy's president, called the four honorees "true pioneers".

Last year, to emphasise a need for greater diversity, the academy gave an award to director Spike Lee. The new selections continue that theme, but also spread the recognition among an array of cinematic specialities.

Casting directors, in particular, have long felt overlooked, largely because no competitive Oscar is awarded for their craft. Stalmaster has cast more than 200 movies, including Tootsie (1982) and Fiddler On The Roof (1971).

Once a sleepy affair, the Governors Awards, which are not televised, have become a major stop on Hollywood's awards circuit. Actors, producers and directors hoping for attention from Oscar voters zealously work the ballroom, often leaving their food untouched.

The Governors Awards are billed as non-competitive, but lobbying by board members does occur.

This year, more than 100 people were put forward as potential honorary Oscar recipients.

NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'Jackie Chan to get an Oscar'. Print Edition | Subscribe