Michael Sugar
Michael Sugar

During this year’s Hollywood awards season, Brandeisians snagged a lion’s share of accolades. At the Academy Awards, “Spotlight,” about The Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal, earned a Best Picture Oscar for producer Michael Sugar ’95. The film also features a character based on former Globe reporter Eileen McNamara, now a professor of the practice of journalism at Brandeis.

At the Golden Globes, producer Caroline Baron ’83 cheered as “Mozart in the Jungle,” an Amazon original series, won the Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical, category. The half-hour show, recently renewed for its third season, follows characters struggling to survive and thrive in New York City’s classical-music scene. Baron’s earlier producing credits include the films “Monsoon Wedding” and “Capote,” which was nominated for a 2005 Best Picture Oscar.

And over at the Grammys, Barry Werger-Gottesman, MA’97, and Tom Flaherty ’72, shared in three nominations for a CD titled “Woman at the New Piano: American Music of 2013.” The nominations were for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance, Best Classical Compendium, and Classical Producer of the Year. Werger-Gottesman served as recording engineer for the CD, and Flaherty was one of four composers featured. Both men work in Pomona College’s music department, Werger-Gottesman as music technologist and Flaherty as the Dexter Professor of Music.

Chris Bedford, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum, will be leaving Brandeis to become the director of the Baltimore Museum of Art. He begins his new role there on Aug. 15. On Aug. 1, Rose deputy director Kristin Parker, who has worked at the museum for six years, will become its interim director while it undertakes an international search for Bedford’s replacement.

In other Rose news, the U.S. State Department announced in April that Bedford and Katy Siegel, the Rose’s curator at large, will co-curate the U.S. pavilion, which will showcase the work of abstract painter Mark Bradford, at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Despite Bedford’s upcoming move to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Rose will retain its commissioning and curatorial role at the U.S. Pavilion. Likewise, Bedford will continue to serve as commissioner of the exhibition.

Books by two Brandeisians were among the five volumes nominated for the Jewish Book Council’s 2016 Sami Rohr Prize, given to the best Jewish nonfiction book of the past two years. Associate professor of Near Eastern and Judaic studies Yehudah Mirsky won the Choice Award for his biography “Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution.” Adam Mendelsohn, PhD’08, was a finalist for “The Rag Race: How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success in America and the British Empire,” a look at the ways immigrant Jews used sweatshop jobs to get ahead.

“Denial,” the film adaptation of the book “History on Trial: My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier,” by Deborah Lipstadt, MA’72, PhD’76, has a new leading lady. Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz has been announced as the replacement for Hilary Swank, who reportedly ran into scheduling conflicts. The movie details the legal battle that began when Lipstadt was sued for libel by a British revisionist historian whom she had labeled a Holocaust denier. Lipstadt is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University.

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