March 5, 2018

Call Me By Your Name, the film adaptation of Graduate Center Professor André Aciman novel, won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.


Graduate Center Distinguished Professor André Aciman (Comparative Literature and French) was in the audience at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night to watch a breathtaking moment: James Ivory win the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for the film based on Aciman’s acclaimed novel Call Me by Your Name. The film, a critical hit, was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.

“Watching my novel win best adapted screenplay was an ecstatic experience,” Aciman said. He was listening for the film title and at first missed Ivory being announced as the winner. “My wife who was sitting next to me said, ‘James won!’ At which point I realized that Call Me by Your Name’s screenplay had earned an Oscar. I couldn’t have been more shaken or overjoyed — the kind of moment one hopes to treasure and recall for the rest of one’s lifetime.” 

In his acceptance speech, Ivory — the oldest winner of an Academy Award — first thanked Aciman for writing “a story familiar to most of us.” “Whether we’re straight or gay or somewhere in between, we’ve all gone through first love, I hope, and come out the other side mostly intact, though maybe not without the benefit of loving parents like the Perlmans.”

Aciman, likewise, was a fan of the movie.


“Everybody assumes that I would have hated the film,” Aciman said in an interview with The Graduate Center last fall. “I loved it. It was extremely faithful to the spirit of the book.”

Besides inspiring the movie, Aciman had a cameo role in it. “It was a truly fun moment,” he recalled last fall. “They invited me to the set to see how the movie was being made. And I met all the actors and it was really wonderful, and then they said, By the way, we want you to play a part.”

Read the full interview with Aciman here.

Aciman will be the faculty speaker at Commencement 2018. Learn more here