The name of a Penn alum will be read on stage on Feb. 26 at the Academy Awards.

Marc Platt (C '79) received a Best Picture nomination for his role in co–producing the 2016 film La La Land, which received a record 14 nominations at this year's ceremony. 

As a producer, Platt saw through the process of La La Land from start to finish. He helped with writing, casting and logistics, he was on set during shoots, and he was present for post–production elements such as editing and sound. Platt continues to work on marketing the film as its reach expands worldwide.

“I feel like La La Land is a film that has captured the hearts and imaginations of people and makes you feel, makes you think about your own dreams and the choices you make in life,” Platt told Street.

The Best Picture category is not new for Penn alumni. In fact, this is Platt’s second consecutive nomination—last year, he was nominated for his role in co–producing Bridge of Spies. Wendy Finerman (W '82) won the same award in 1995 for co–producing Forrest Gump.

Although Finerman and Platt did not meet at Penn, they worked together at TRISTAR productions.

“I’m very happy for him,” Finerman said of Platt’s nomination. “He is a bright, nurturing, kind producer.”

Platt and Finerman both asserted that their time at Penn helped them in their professions.

Wharton “gave me confidence that I could hold my own,” Finerman said.

Platt added that his experiences directing and producing student–run shows at Penn taught him many of the necessary skills for his job.

“It gave me the opportunity to problem–solve on a smaller scale, both on a creative plane and on a business plane," he said. “I actually got practical experience being an active participant in the student performing arts at Penn."

Finerman said her in–class experiences have helped her with her job, specifically the collaboration skills she learned from Wharton management classes.

“Making films is not [the work of] a singular person,” she said, noting the importance of teamwork and organization to filmmaking. “It is a group of people that come together and everyone needs to work incredibly well. If they don’t, it can hurt the whole project.”

Finerman said these skills are universal and do not just apply to her industry.

Platt agreed, stating that the artistic qualities one can cultivate at Penn have larger–scale importance.

“I feel firmly about art in all of our lives,” Platt said. “I think it’s a critical part of our society and culture and I hope it remains so."

Platt’s name may sound familiar to many at Penn, as it is the namesake of the Platt Student Performing Arts House. Platt donated $1 million to Penn to commence the project that finished in 2006.

“[Art] reflects the world we live in,” Platt said. “It should be a vital part of Penn.”


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