Former Ohio State Students Discuss Oscars And More In Podcast

The Oscar Wild movie podcast is available on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Audible, and iHeart Radio. Credit: Courtesy of Sophia Ciminello

Two Ohio State alumni turn their passion into professionals with their entertainment podcast, which covers anything and everything about the world of cinema.

Sophia Ciminello and Nick Ruhrkraut, graduates 2015 and 2013 respectively, are the duo behind the microphone of the podcast “Oscar Wild”. Each season, Ciminello and Ruhrkraut discuss topics in the film industry ranging from new releases to old classics with their 1,500 monthly listeners as they count the days to the next Oscars.

Many episodes also include guests in the form of friends, Oscar pundits, members of the press, and even Oscar-nominated crew, Ruhrkraut said.

The duo’s history dates back to 2012, when Ciminello and Ruhrkraut met during a LeaderShape retreat – an immersion program focused on developing student leadership – at Ohio State. They immediately discussed movies, Ciminello said. However, Ruhrkraut said it wasn’t until February 2020 that they decided to start a podcast to share their conversations.

“We had always talked about starting one for a while, at least the last two years,” Ruhrkraut said. “We kind of bit the bullet when the Oscars came along.”

Annmarie Julian, a fifth year in international relations who listens to new episodes of “Oscar Wild” every Thursday morning, said that Ciminello and Ruhrkraut speak about cinema in an accessible way that welcomes those with little or no knowledge of cinema in the conversation.

“They’ll be talking about movies from the ’70s or even going back and flashing back to the Oscars as the winners for best film of the’ 30s,” Julian said. “I have never seen them, but I still listened for over an hour because I love to listen to them and learn more about them, about the time and about the different movements and their impact on cinema today. “

Ciminello said that she and Ruhrkraut try to make “Oscar Wild” appeal to longtime fans of movies and the Oscars, but also to people who are just starting to explore cinema.

“Maybe we do an episode about a director,” Ciminello said. “You don’t need to know anything about this director to listen. We’ll guide you.”

If potential listeners aren’t interested in the Oscars, they can find an abundance of other episodes that deal with issues such as race, gender, class, and sex in the film industry, as well as the business of filmmaking. , Julian said.

Ryan Lamb, a Disney movie lover and 2014 Ohio State alumnus, has appeared as a guest in several episodes, including one that explored the release of the live-action “Mulan,” he said. he declares.

“We talked about the movie and also a lot of the business behind what Disney was trying to do to distribute the movie, given that they weren’t sure whether people were going to come back to the theaters or not,” Lamb said.

Lamb, an avid podcast listener, said he was impressed not only by the amount of work Ciminello and Ruhrkraut put into recording, producing and editing “Oscar Wild”, but also by their mastery. cinema and industry.

“Nick and Sophia live and breathe movies. They could average one movie a day, ”Lamb said. “They are so proficient in this language and are able to add this color to their conversations.”

Likewise, Julian said as the “Oscar Wild” episodes progressed, Ciminello and Ruhrkraut became more and more comfortable behind the mic, allowing their personalities to shine.

” They are delicious. They are funny. They have great chemistry, ”Julian said.

The comings and goings of Ciminello and Ruhrkraut’s movie-related jokes add a fun touch to the podcast for listeners like Julian, unlike many professors who talk about cinema, she said.

“My dream when we created this was for it to sound like one of those conversations you would have in your dorm with your friends after going to a movie,” Ciminello said. “Our goal has always been to make people feel like they’re listening to this type of conversation.

Interested listeners can find the “Oscar Wild” podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Audible and iHeartRadio, and new episodes are released on Thursdays.

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