Nicolas Chartier might not be sitting in the orchestra section of the Kodak Theatre with fellow Academy Award nominees Kathryn Bigelow and Jeremy Renner on Sunday evening, but he’ll have some sort of front-and-center view of the high-profile awards ceremony nonetheless.
The Hurt Locker producer, who found himself under intense scrutiny last week for soliciting votes and was subsequently barred from attending the 2010 Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, will celebrate the success of his little-film-that-could at a private screening party thrown in his honor. According to Deadline Hollywood, William Morris Endeavor global chief Graham Taylor and Blue Valentine producer Lynnette Howell are hosting the French food-catered soiree at their Venice Beach home with 100 friends and colleagues, as well as Chartier’s family, in attendance.
Although the dress code for guests is casual, Chartier will get some use out of his already-rented tuxedo as the esteemed guest of honor. And to further emulate the real deal, Taylor and Howell have also rented a red carpet for the D.I.Y. affair.
A French film sales agent and current president of Voltage Pictures, Chartier sent an e-mail on Feb. 19 to a group of Academy voters and industry figureheads that urged readers to vote for his film so “[The Hurt Locker] will win and not a $500M film.” Although he issued an apology for his “naïve, ignorance of the rules and plain stupidity” several days after the e-mail’s detonation, the Academy felt Chartier needed to be disciplined for directing a negative comment at a rival film.
Many petitions and grassroots movements have sparked since the Academy’s unfortunate announcement for the producer who is said to have singlehandedly escorted The Hurt Locker’s journey from script to screen. An integral member of The Hurt Locker team, Chartier at one point in the development remortgaged his house to help finance the $15 million needed to produce the film.
Luckily for Chartier and his defenders, he has not been removed from the list of four producers eligible for the golden statue, and will still be able to receive the Oscar if The Hurt Locker wins best picture Sunday evening — just not on national television.