Loading Events

SFFILM Festival

Oscar Categories Explained!

Join this panel of Oscar-nominated creators as they shed light on the incredible craft and artistry showcased in the more confusing Academy categories.
The live Q&A will take place on this page, and a video recording will be posted here shortly afterward.


Live Q&A

Wed, Apr 14 at 4:00 pm PST

Live Q&A


This panel of Oscar-nominated creators will shed light on the incredible craft and artistry showcased in some of the most interesting, yet less known Academy categories such as Visual Effects, Sound Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Original Score.

Panelist Beth D'Amato

Beth D’Amato is a Visual Effects Society Award-winning Digital Paint Supervisor with over 20 years of experience in the visual effects industry. Recently, D’Amato served as Visual Effects Supervisor for Disney’s upcoming Launchpad Shorts for Disney+, partnering with multiple filmmakers to achieve their vision while leading ILM teams.

In 2020, D’Amato supervised the digital artists across two studios on Marvel’s Black Widow; prior, she oversaw artists on Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. In 2019, she was a key contributor to multiple effects-driven films including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Captain Marvel, among others.

She received her first VES Award on Michael Bay’s Transformers for Outstanding Compositing in a Motion Picture and was recognized with a VES Award nomination for her work on James Cameron’s Avatar. Held in high regard among colleagues, D’Amato is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Panelist Sergio Lopez-Rivera

Sergio Lopez-Rivera is a highly regarded, award-winning makeup artist in the entertainment industry, whose looks have been seen all over Hollywood. Personal clients Sergio has lent his talent to include Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Kate Walsh, Mireille Enos, Alicia Silverstone, Kerri Russell, Darby Stanchfield, Lisa Kudrow, Toni Collette, Amy Brenneman, and Idina Menzel, among others.

His most recent makeup work can be seen in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020), for which Sergio completely transformed Viola Davis into the title character known as the “Mother of Blues.”

For his incredible work on the film, Sergio has been praised with Oscar, BAFTA, and Makeup and Hairstyling Guild award nominations, and has already been recognized with Critics’ Choice and Hollywood Critics Association awards this year.

Other film work for Sergio includes indie cult classics, such as Clockwatchers (1997) and The Opposite of Sex (1997). His beautiful work has also been regularly seen in television shows, including How to Get Away with Murder, Felicity, Scandal, and Private Practice.

In 2006, he began working for Shondaland, a production company headed by writer/producer Shonda Rhymes. By 2015, he became the first makeup artist in television to supervise the makeup and hair departments for three concurrent television series.

Sergio was born and raised in Spain, and currently resides in Los Angeles where he continues to design and execute makeup looks for film and television, special effects, print, and fashion.

Panelist Emile Mosseri

Emile Mosseri is an award-winning composer, pianist, singer, and producer who has quickly made a name for himself in the world of film music with his song-based approach to crafting emotionally stirring compositions.

Mosseri made his feature film score debut with Sundance standout The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019), garnering extensive critical acclaim from the LA Times, Pitchfork, Entertainment Weekly, and more, with NPR lauding, “Mosseri’s score gives the film an extra layer of poetry and transcendence.” A breakout moment for the young composer, the sweepingly romantic score cemented Mosseri as a sought-after collaborator, next joining director Miranda July for her comedic crime drama Kajillionaire (2020). Described by Billboard as “an integral part of the film and a delight on its own,” Mosseri’s score also featured a collaboration with acclaimed singer-songwriter Angel Olsen, the duo pairing up for a cover of the Bobby Vinton classic “Mr. Lonely.”

Meanwhile, Mosseri’s television credits include Terence Nance’s HBO series Random Acts of Flyness, as well as season two of the Amazon Original Series Homecoming, starring Janelle Monáe. Vulture hailed Mosseri’s score as “the secret weapon” of Homecoming, and Monáe admitted, “Honestly, I’m like, I wish that was my album! That’s how good that music is.”

Mosseri’s latest project is director Lee Isaac Chung’s family drama Minari, which made its award-winning debut at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The score garnered Academy Award and BAFTA nominations for Mosseri, along with critical acclaim. The Los Angeles Times called the music “sublime,” while The Guardian wrote, “It reinforces and deepens the story.”

Panelist Randy Thom

Randy Thom is Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound, but still spends most of his time working on films. His credits include: Apocalypse Now (1979), Return of the Jedi (1983), Never Cry Wolf (1983), The Thin Blue Line (1988), Wild at Heart (1990), Forrest Gump (1994), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), Ratatouille (2007), Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (2008), Coraline (2009), How To Train Your Dragon (2010), and The Midnight Sky (2020). He has worked with a diverse list of directors, including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, David Lynch, Guillermo del Toro, John Waters, Errol Morris, Henry Selick, Peter Jackson, Brad Bird, and Chris Wedge. Randy’s essay, “Designing A Movie For Sound,” is used in many universities. Randy has been nominated for 15 Oscars, an Emmy, and a Grammy. He has won two Oscars, for The Right Stuff (1983) and The Incredibles (2004). Randy was honored with the C.A.S. Career Achievement Award in 2010 and the MPSE Career Achievement Award in 2014.

Panelist Jamika Wilson

Oscar-nominated celebrity hairstylist Jamika Wilson is accredited with many iconic celebrity looks and styles. Jamika is known for her penchant for combining classic and modern looks that bring out the natural beauty of her client.

Jamika is best known for her contribution to the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) as the personal hairstylist to Viola Davis. She also served as Davis’s hairstylist on the film Widows (2018) and the series How to Get Away with Murder (2015-2018). Most recently for television, Jamika styled Uzo Aduba for HBO’s In Treatment, She also worked on the series True Jackson, VP (2010).

Jamika’s techniques and finesse have made her one of the most influential hairstylists in the industry. Apart from freelancing as a hairstylist for many celebrities like Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, and Taraji P. Henson, her work has featured in editorial spreads and covers of publications, including Glamour magazine, Guardian magazine, L’Officiel, Porter, InStyle, and many others. She has also launched her own hair salon, Studio 13.

Photo Credit Mariemil Zamoranos