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Alumnus Helps Produce "Top of the Broadcast" for 2009 Oscars

Director and producer Jethro Rothe-Kushel '03, president of Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media Association (DAEMA), supervised the production of the "Top of the Broadcast" for the 81st Annual Academy Awards.

Directed by Bennett Miller (Capote) and by assistant director Mark Hansson '81 (High School MusicalDreamgirls), the two-and-a-half minute introduction was shot at Sony Studios and utilized Errol Morris' interrotron, a device similar to a teleprompter that projects the interviewer's portrait over the camera lens. The production featured a range of this year's award nominees as well as legendary Hollywood figures (including Buck Henry '52, writer for The Graduate) and everyday-people expressing their opinion about entertainment. "It was a lot of fun ... a great opportunity to work with incredibly talented people," said Rothe-Kushel.

Rothe-Kushel spoke about DAEMA, one of three of Dartmouth's official alumni shared interest groups, from Los Angeles prior to the Oscars. (The other two shared interest groups are the Dartmouth Lawyers Association and Dartmouth Alums for Social Change.) "While DAEMA started as more or less a database, it has grown to become an important community network for Dartmouth alumni and students working to establish themselves or as seasoned professionals in what can be a cutthroat business," he said. "It's so important to help each other out and create long-term relationships."

DAEMA received a boost last year when Chris Meledandri '81, the executive producer of the movie Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who, arranged to premiere the film on the Fox Lot for DAEMA members. The screening was attended by about 400 people, mostly Dartmouth alumni and their families. Numerous premieres, film festivals, panels, and social events over the last five years have strengthened the connection and power of the DAEMA community, said Rothe-Kushel.

This year, the goal for DAEMA has been to strengthen the Hanover-Hollywood connection by matching current students and young alumni with industry veterans. DAEMA launched its mentorship program this winter with a dozen mentors including Shonda Rhimes '91 (creator and executive producer of the television show Grey's Anatomy). The new DAEMA Scholars Program, which arranges entertainment and media internships for undergraduates, is now underway and will launch this summer. 

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In other entertainment news, a home movie of a trip to Disneyland by Robbins Barstow '41 was one of 25 films added to the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress in 2008. 

 

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Last Updated: 1/19/10