AMPAS salutes shorts, foreign-lingo directors

The directors of this year’s foreign-language film nominees will gather Saturday at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ annual symposium in their honor and, one day earlier, the makers of short films will assemble at the Academy to celebrate “Short Films: Past, Present and Future.”

The foreign-film discussion, which will be moderated by director George Schaefer, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The symposium is open to the public and is free.

Participants include Hong Kong’s Chen Kaige, director of “Farewell My Concubine”; Spain’s Fernando Trueba, of “Belle Epoque”; Ang Lee, Taiwan’s “The Wedding Banquet”; the U.K.’s Paul Turner, of the Welsh-language “Hedd Wyn”; and Tran Anh Hung, director of Vietnam’s “The Scent of Green Papaya.”

This year’s short-film celebration, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, is especially timely, in light of the fact that the shorts makers won a battle with the Academy over the elimination of the shorts categories from Oscar contention.

The event will feature keynote speeches by director Martha Coolidge and animator Chuck Jones. The program also will include a screening of excerpts from this year’s nominated short films.

The evening is sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment, the short films branch governors and the Friends of Short Films, and hosted by Taylor Hackford.

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