/ 24 February 2007

Oscar producer promises a good party

The Oscars will not be given out until Sunday night, but show producer Laura Ziskin noted on Friday that there is already been a winner — diversity.

Ziskin, along with academy president Sid Ganis and show director Louis J Horvitz, spoke with reporters from the Kodak Theatre’s red carpet (protected by a clear plastic rain tent) about what is in store for this year’s Oscar show.

Expect a sunny day on Sunday, Ganis said: ”The forecast, knock wood, is splendid.”

And get ready for a festive vibe, said Ziskin. ”We hope, at the end of the night, people will say — win or lose — ‘That was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.”’

Expect to see film celebrated in a way that highlights the diversity of the nominees and the unifying power of movies.

”The very, very best [this year] included this amazing, diverse group of men and women artists,” Ganis said. ”It’s ultra-important because movies aren’t an American art form. They’re a worldwide art form.”

That could, of course, make pronouncing some of the nominees’ names a little challenging. But Horvitz is on it: ”Every name is spelled phonetically.”

Also, expect a diverse bunch of presenters — familiar and unfamiliar, Ziskin said.

”We try to balance between big, big Hollywood star power and try to mix it up a little bit differently than the 12 awards shows that have preceded us,” she said.

Borat, aka Sacha Baron Cohen, declined an invitation to present, but plans to attend the show, Ziskin said.

The last time Ziskin produced the Academy Awards, in 2002, the telecast spanned a record four hours and 23 minutes. So how long will this year’s show be?

”It’ll be over by Monday morning,” she said. — Sapa-AP