University of Texas at Austin Professor’s Documentary Selected for Oscar Short List

Nov. 20, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas — "Body of War," a collaboration between University of Texas at Austin Radio-TV-Film Associate Professor Ellen Spiro and former talk show host Phil Donahue, has been selected for the "short list" of titles competing in the Best Documentary Feature category at the 80th Academy Awards, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The Documentary Branch screening committee viewed the eligible documentaries in a preliminary round of screenings, according to AMPAS, and branch members will now select the five 2007 nominees from among the 15 titles on this list.

"Body of War" is a feature documentary tracing the postwar life of Iraq veteran Thomas Young, who was paralyzed by a bullet to the spine. The film is Young's coming home story as he evolves into a new person, dealing with his disability and finding his own unique and passionate voice against the war.

The film is produced and directed by Spiro and Donahue. Karen Bernstein co-produced the film and Bernadine Colish served as editor. The film features two original songs written and performed by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.

The five nominees for Best Documentary Feature will be announced on Jan. 22, 2008, and the Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented on Feb. 24, 2008.

Learn more about "Body of War" and Professor Ellen Spiro.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, College of Communication, 512-475-8071; Josh Baran, 212-779-2666 or 917-797-1799.