Category Archives: Backstage Hollywood

David Rubin Elected President of The Academy®

Congratulations to David Rubin, who  was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tuesday night (August 6) by the organization’s Board of Governors.

Also elected to officer positions by the Board:

Lois Burwell, First Vice President (chair, Awards and Events Committee)
Sid Ganis, Vice President (chair, Museum Committee)
Larry Karaszewski, Vice President (chair, Preservation and History Committee)
Nancy Utley, Vice President (chair, Education and Outreach Committee)
Mark Johnson, Treasurer (chair, Finance Committee)
Bonnie Arnold, Secretary (chair, Membership and Governance Committee)

Mr. Rubin is beginning his first term as president and his seventh year as a governor representing the Casting Directors Branch. Mr. Burwell, Mr. Ganis, Mr. Karaszewski and Ms. Utley were re-elected to their posts. This will be the first officer stint for Ms. Arnold and Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Rubin is the first casting director to hold the position of Academy President.  With more than 100 film and television credits, he has cast such features as “The English Patient,” “Men in Black,” “Hairspray,” “Lars and the Real Girl,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Get Shorty,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet” and “Fried Green Tomatoes” among more.

Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 9,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is now under construction in Los Angeles.

The Academy Museum, Wilshire & Fairfax, used with kind courtesy of The Academy, (c) 2019, AMPAS, all rights reserved.

Kerry Brougher will be leaving his position as Director of the Academy Museum to return to his roots in the art world.  Kerry is a friend and a highly respected colleague. He has been at the helm of this project for the last five years, and has put in place strong teams that well position us to move ahead together. In recognition of his leadership, vision, and committed service, the Museum Board has named him Founding Director.

The Museum Board will work closely with the Museum’s senior team to ensure a smooth transition as the search for a new director gets under way. Our primary goal remains to create the best possible motion picture museum for you.

A Note from Kerry:

“It has been a privilege for me to work with the Museum’s Board of Trustees, the great Renzo Piano, my colleagues, and of course you – our good friends and supporters, with whom we are creating this unprecedented Museum. We are just weeks away from completing construction of the buildings, ending the first phase of this project, and our collection has grown substantially. Many of the exhibitions, including Miyazaki and Regeneration, will be the first of their kind. I’m very proud of the work done by our amazing team. Now is the right time for me to pass the baton.”

We will be keeping you informed of the Museum’s ongoing momentum.

All the best,

Katharine DeShaw
Deputy Director, Advancement and External Relations

©2019, The Academy Museum, used with kind courtesy for The Hollywood Sentinel. This content and image of Mr. Rubin is also © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. ® “Oscar®,” “Oscars®,” “Academy Awards®,” “Academy Award®,” “A.M.P.A.S. ®” and “Oscar Night®” are the trademarks, and the ©Oscar® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lady Gaga Conquers Hollywood

The 91st Annual Oscars were held earlier this year, which is always an exciting time. The following is a brief excerpt of Lady Gaga’s speech for her big win for from that show, for Best Original Song for “Shallow,” along with Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt, from the motion picture “A Star Is Born.”

Q: I think that a lot of people might look at you and all the wins and success you’ve had in your life and they don’t really see what you’ve been through to get to where you are today. Can you talk a little bit about some of the struggles that you’ve had to overcome and what’s brought you to where you are today?

Lady Gaga: … “The truth is people see what they see on the outside. And in some way, shape, or form, at times, we become architects. But the truth is, I was so determined to live my dreams and yet there was so much in the way. There were so many things I did not anticipate that broke me, that tortured me, that traumatized me. And I think sometimes, what you are trying to clarify, is that people think that it comes easy to us because when we show up and we have our suits on, that it’s all okay. But the truth is every single person on this stage has been through so much. We are friends. We have worked on ourselves in life. We have tried to heal through the torment of this industry and being artists. And the truth is that this is very, very hard work. And it is not for the faint of heart. But I would never want to imply that anyone in the world is faint of heart. I wanted everyone tonight to feel like they could be each one of us on that stage. And I’m so very grateful that I got to be up there with these incredible men that I call my friends. I remember the moment we wrote this song together. It was great, it was beautiful, and I’m so honored to be here.”

This content is Copyright 2019 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “Oscar®,” “Oscars®,” “Academy Awards®,” “Academy Award®,” “A.M.P.A.S.®” and “Oscar Night®” are the trademarks, and the ©Oscar® All rights reserved. 

Hollywood’s Legendary Spiritual Warrior: Mel Novak


Mel Novak

An ordained minister; ministering to the homeless on skid row in Los Angeles, and to those men and women in some of the worst prisons in the country throughout the United States, Mel Novak is a Hollywood legend to all;  and simply like an angel to many of those who know him best.

A Mission to Save 

As noted in his official biography, “For the past 36 years, Mel has faithfully ministered on the streets of L.A., and in the chapel services at the Union Rescue Mission, Fred Jordan Mission, L.A. Mission and the Long Beach Rescue Mission. Mel has also ministered at prisons for 35 years, in penitentiaries from San Quentin and Pelican Bay in California, to New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon.”

Mel Novak states, “I have done over 9,000 services and over 180,000 have accepted God’s precious gift of salvation through grace, by receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and  rededicating their lives. (Eph. 2:8) Jesus sets the captives free (Isaiah 61:1) and by his stripes they are healed (Isaiah 53:5) spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.”

As his biography also states, “Although Mel believes that Christ heals more important things than bodies, he has personally experienced God’s miraculous healing power.”  Mel states he has had 28 surgeries, and says, “I should have died 7 times, but God had another plan for me!”  He references Jeremiah 29:11-13 from The Bible.

A native of Pittsburgh, Mel was an outstanding athlete in several sports. He states he passed up 60 football scholarship offers and signed a pro baseball contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career was cut short by a massive rotator cuff injury. Despite the pain and setback from his injury, Mel says he learned even more clearly “that God works all things together for the good of those who love him and for those called according to His purpose.”  He references Romans 8:28.

Prison Ministry 

“I preach Christ Crucified at Chapel services in prisons and penitentiaries around the country and have been doing so for the last 35 years,” Mel reveals. He adds, “Many are Level 3 & Level 4 (Maximum Security with some on Death Row). There are times that I minister in the “yard ” as well as one on one from cell to cell. When I started out in Prison Ministry, there were 750,000 men & women in prison… today there are 7 million incarcerated & 14 million on parole. The ones who are released and pray the “Arsenal Prayer ” DAILY have not returned. To date over 1,000,000 people have received the Arsenal Prayers.”

Homeless Ministry

Mel says, “For 36 years I have ministered at the 4 Skid Row Missions in L.A, doing Chapel services, Bible Studies on Spiritual Warfare, counseled & prayed with and for multitudes. I also minister on the streets, and have been giving Bibles out of my car trunk for over 34 years. In addition I have given out over 300,000 Bibles and over 3,000 pairs of reading glasses.”

Mel states, “I will go anywhere the Lord opens a door to preach His word. I ask for expenses but do “not” have an honorarium. In the prisons they call me “machine gun ” because I back up everything I say with 1, 2, or 3 verses of scripture. Preaching in a church is like going on a picnic, as my ministry is behind enemy lines.”

Mel Novak

Hollywood Legend

Mel has starred or co-starred in fifty feature films. Most well  known for Bruce Lee’s “Game of Death,” his other films include Jim Kelly’s “Black Belt Jones,” Brynner’s “The Ultimate Warrior,” Steve McQueen’s “Tom Horn” and Chuck Norris’s ‘Eye for an Eye.”

Some of his recent starring roles are: “Syndicate Smasher,”  “Tales of Frankenstein,” “Nemesis 5,” “Abeyance,” “An Hour to Kill,” “When it Rings,” “Fight or Die,” “Holy Terror,” ” Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance,”  and “Check Point.” Other starring roles Mel has done are “Giants,” “Power Elite,” “Swat” Warhead One,” “Thunderkick,” “Vampire Assassin,” “Expert Weapon,” “Sword of Heaven,” “Force of Darkness,” “Family Reunion,” and “Capital Punishment.”

Mel also did two movies with acclaimed Director Garry Marshall. Mel will be starring in an upcoming movie to be released in 2019 called “Robo Woman.”

Having died 23 times on screen, Mel says he says happily “I get what I deserve in the end. The Lord’s justice is very much like that.” Mel Novak is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Listen to our following interview with screen legend, and spiritual warrior and humanitarian Mel Novak, exclusively for the Hollywood Sentinel here below: 

Visit the Official Mel Novak website at 

This content is copyright, 2019, all rights reserved.