This piece by Milton Justice, a member of the Academy's documentary branch who is best known for the Oscar-winning doc Down and Out in America, is part of an ongoing series of guest columns by Academy members about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the Academy's response to it.
(The Hollywood Reporter)Having won an Oscar, I'm safe. Otherwise, I suppose I would have had to get my agent at CAA to write a letter assuring the Academy that even though I haven't produced a film in the past 10 years, there are three scripts on his desk he has not yet been able to set up, thus indicating activity in the past 10 years. That is, unless you can count the short film I directed, which made it into several festivals, or the web series I directed, which was nominated for a Producers Guild Award. Or do the 15 years I've watched an average of 100 documentaries a year, as a volunteer member of the Academy and later a member of the documentary branch, qualify as involvement in the Industry?