Two student journalists from Rice University in Texas are now in Hollywood, where they will get an opportunity to report from the Oscars Sunday. Faheem Ahmed and Anish Patel will have a spot on the red carpet and a chance to interview some of their favorite stars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, teamed up with mtvU, the college music network, to give budding journalists a chance to report from the Oscars. At Rice University, Faheem Ahmed teamed up with his fellow pre-medical student, Anish Patel, and submitted a video. The sponsoring organizations selected the top 10 entries, and the winners were selected through two rounds of online voting.
Friday, the two were announced as winners. Teams from San Diego State University in California and Fordham University in New York were runners up. They are also in Hollywood and will see the Red Carpet from the bleachers with the fans. Feheem says he and his partner are ready for the spotlight, prepared to interview celebrities.
"It's important to be personable, be aggressive, because I'm sure there are going to be so many journalists clamoring and were just two college kids from mtvU. We can't let people push us around. And I think, finally, we've go to represent the college demographic, so we're going to ask questions that college kids would like to hear these actors talk about, and directors," he said.
Both young men are big movie fans. Anish hopes to interview the star of the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight, one of his favorites.
"I'd really like to meet Christian Bale. I've been a big fan of his work, even before he was Batman, and I'm also a big Batman fan. So I'd definitely like to meet him," he said.
Feheem hopes to get interviews with his two favorite directors.
"Danny Boyle who just did Slumdog Millionaire, an incredible film, the cinematography is amazing. I mean, I'm a big fan of his. He did Trainspotting, so many really revolutionary films that brought a fresh take to the genre. And finally Christopher Nolan, who did The Dark Knight. I mean, as impartial as I have to be, I thought The Dark Knight was one of the best movies of the year," he said.
Both young men have immigrant backgrounds. Faheem's father came to the United States on a scholarship as a student from Bangladesh. Anish is Indian American and he was born in Britain.
Both plan to become doctors. Anish says they also share the goal of combining journalism with medicine.
"In about a year, I'll be matriculating into the Baylor College of Medicine as well, but I'd also like to meld my medical career with being a correspondent and using the power of journalism to help spread information and awareness about medical problems," he said.
For now, the two are enjoying their new role as entertainment reporters. After meeting the stars outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood Oscar night, they will head backstage to join other journalists in interviewing the winners.