Award Season Shines Light on Talents of Columbia Alums

PhotoLeft to right: Paul Garnes '96, HDR '16; Tucker Barrie ’12; Jacquelyn Karambelas ’04; and Janusz Kaminski ’87.
Films and shows nominated for prestigious awards are backed by the talents of Columbia alums.

This award season, the film and television industry recognized several films and shows brought to screens thanks to the creativity and industriousness of Columbia alums.  

The Golden Globes awarded Best Drama Motion Picture to The Fabelmans, which was filmed by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski ’87. The movie also received several Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. But that’s not all. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences nominated two animated films that were backed by the talents Columbia alums -- Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the latter of which won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Picture.  

And there’s more: Columbia alum projects received nominations from the NAACP Image Awards and ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Awards for excellence in animation.  

Here's the low down on some of those projects and the nominations they received.

The show Queen Sugar collected six NAACP Image Award nominations— the most of any drama this year. Nominations included a nod for Outstanding Drama Series and its executive producer Paul Garnes '96, HDR '16 who serves on Columbia College Chicago’s Board of Trustees. 

Not one, but two films nominated for Best Animated Feature Oscars list Columbia alums on their credits. Jacquelyn Karambelas ’04 served as associate editor for DreamWorks Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Tucker Barrie ’12, a stop motion animator, worked on Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, which has already won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature. 

The team behind Pinocchio also included Angeline Izquierdo ’12 and Brian Harris ’12; both work for ShadowMachine, the animation studio that helped produce Pinocchio. Izquierdo is a producer’s assistant at ShadowMachine, and Harris is a development production assistant. And Ken Nowak ‘00 was the recordist for the dialogue and effects pre-dubs on Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. 

For their work on these films, Karambelas and Barrie received individual nominations for Annie Awards*, one of the highest honors in animation. Karambelas was nominated for Best Editorial-Feature and Barrie for Best Character Animation.

"There's been a downpour of phenomenal work in animation this year, particularly in the stop motion world, and especially amongst my peers on Pinocchio,” Barrie says. “I certainly didn't expect this recognition and being nominated alongside Pixar and DreamWorks animators feels both humbling and surreal. I'm eternally grateful to Guillermo and Mark (the directors) for entrusting me with such warm, heartfelt scenes that clearly have resonated with people."  

Barrie and Karambelas are also appreciative of Columbia and the people they met through Columbia. 

“I landed my first job in Hollywood through the Columbia College Chicago Alumni Network,” Karambelas says. “I can draw a line connecting every single job I’ve had from that first job to Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which is now nominated for an Academy Award!” 

Kudos to our alums for their roles in bringing these lauded projects to life. 

 *Update: Both Karambelas and Barrie won Annie Awards. Karambelas won for Best Editorial-Feature and Barrie for Best Character Animation.

GRAMMY Awards: Alum Performs with Lizzo and Faculty Projects Nominated 

On Feb. 5, Music Alum D’Zhari Bolden '17 performed with Lizzo at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Award Ceremony while Columbia faculty heard their projects listed among the nominated works. Read more:

Singer and Music Instructor G. Thomas Allen Celebrates Second GRAMMY Nominated Project 

Adjunct Faculty Member Michael Freeman's Project Garners a GRAMMY Nomination 

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