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Film Alumnus Hands Out Oscars at Academy Awards
by Jim Karpen

Maharishi University of Management    Translate This Article
11 March 2017

Johnny Coffeen, Student Academy Award winner,
brought Oscars onstage to presenters at the 89th Academy Awards

Johnny Coffeen, who received an MA in film in 2015 from Maharishi University of Management*, was intimately involved in the recent Academy Awards ceremony, bringing Oscars onto the stage and handing them to the presenters, and escorting award recipients off the stage.

Those he escorted included Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon, Salma Hayek, Meryl Streep, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many more.

Johnny won a Student Academy Award last August for his MUM thesis film and, along with three other student winners, was asked to be a trophy presenter at the 89th Academy Awards.

He was most excited to meet Meryl Streep. ''I was pleased how consistently sweet and genuinely humble she was.''

Overall, he says that being at the heart of the event was ''beyond surreal.''

''Thankfully the celebrities came in the day before the show to rehearse, so perhaps as a defense mechanism, I had to quickly adapt to the situation by thinking, 'Oh, you know, no big deal that I'm sitting next to Shirley MacLaine as she talks about her experiences acting in one of my favorite films, The Apartment, while Michael J. Fox and Seth Rogen are across from me cracking jokes about the Back To The Future 2 shoes Seth was wearing.'''

He says, however, that he didn't get any selfies with the celebrities. ''Of all days for my phone to break, it had to be during the Oscars, but thankfully it allowed me to be in the moment.''

Johnny was chosen as a winner last SeptemberĀ in the alternative category of the Student Academy Awards for his thesis film The Swan Girl.

Seventeen students were selected from a record number of entries that included 1,749 films from 381 colleges and universities around the world. He is the first student from MUM to win such an award.

Copyright © 2017 Maharishi University of Management

*Maharishi University of Management (MUM) is a private, accredited university featuring Consciousness-Based Education, designed to develop the student's total potential. The curriculum offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business, and also integrates self-development programs. All students, faculty, and staff practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique, which develops integrated brain functioning, promotes wellness, and enhances learning ability and academic performance. For more information, call the Admissions Office at 800-369-6480 [outside US call: +1 641-472-1110] or visit

See related articles:
How legendary film director Martin Scorsese and hedge fund titan Ray Dalio stay grounded
Maharishi University of Management: David Lynch graduate wins Student Academy Award

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