Their respective book projects explore the historical context and creative influence of the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy and examine female Method actors and how their feminist contributions earned them a place in movie history. The Academy’s Educational Grants Committee will award both the scholars’ $25,000 grant awards on the basis of their proposals.
“I am thrilled to support Frankel and Walsh in their research so that they may share their expertise for these timely topics that are not only significant to the film industry but to society as whole,” said Academy Grants Committee Chair Buffy Shutt. “Their works illuminate the importance of diversity and inclusion in the history of film, something that is essential to remember as we look to further the Academy’s mission. We all look forward to seeing the outcome of their research.”
Frankel’s book on Best Picture Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy will analyze how the artists behind it contributed to this boundary-breaking film that signified a shift in representation of sexuality in the 1960s. It explores not only the historical implications of the film but also the creative elements that led to its success and a milestone in Hollywood’s acceptance of diverse and controversial subject matters.
Walsh’s project will be among the first scholarly works to explore what is critical and feminist about Method acting in Hollywood films. Primarily focused on Method performances by women from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, she illuminates their neglected and concealed work, and ultimately showcases how it broadened women’s possibilities of acting.
Established in 1999, the Academy Film Scholars program is designed to support significant new works of film scholarship