Hofstra Students Win grand Prize in Academy/MTVU Oscars Contest

110226A 0001 pThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, today announced that Luz Pena and Philip Robibero from Hofstra University are the Grand Prize winners for the “Oscars Correspondent Contest.” As part of their prize, they have earned a spot on the red carpet for the 83rd Academy Awards® arrivals tomorrow, February 27, and will have access to the backstage press rooms and the Governors Ball. Oscar® coverage from the winning team will be posted on mtvU.com and MTVNews.com the week of February 28.

“Luz and Philip made a strong impression with the Academy selection panel and the online voters. I know they will represent the college community well,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “They are in for an unforgettable experience – the red carpet at the Oscars is like no place else on earth.”

“There is no surprise that Hofstra University continues to develop amazing talent and Luz and Philip absolutely delivered this year,” said Carlo DiMarco, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at mtvU. “We’re excited that, along with the Academy, we were once again able to offer this incredible experience and look forward to continuing our commitment to providing college students engaging contests with unparalleled rewards.”

Pena and Robibero beat out teams of college journalists from across the nation to win this opportunity. The Academy and mtvU selected an initial group of ten semifinalists from the contest entries. Those ten semifinalists competed in an online vote, after which the field was narrowed to three.

The three finalist teams were brought to Los Angeles, where they have been covering Academy Awards pre-events, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award Nominees Photo Op, the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Symposium, and the Governors Ball preview.

The winning team was selected following a second mtvU online poll and an evaluation by the Academy and a panel of entertainment news professionals. The panel was composed of Brooke Anderson, co-host of HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight”; Sandy Cohen from the Associated Press; and Adam Weissler from “Extra.”

Runners-up Blake Mitchell and David Torcivia from the University of Georgia and Sarah Erickson and Joel Kutz from the University of Southern California earned bleacher seats along the red carpet, where they will watch guest arrivals, and received admission to the 2011 Bleacher Fan Oscar Viewing Party at the historic El Capitan Theatre.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.