Southern Oregon University student Lisa Bolden wrote and edited a commercial that was chosen as one of five semifinalists in a contest sponsored by Dove. If her clip is chosen as a finalist, it will appear during the Academy Awards. - Bob Pennell

And the winner is ...

The real nail-biting in this year's Academy Awards isn't over which Hollywood movie will win the coveted Best Picture. It's all about the commercials — at least according to one local college student.

Her commercial, to be exact, says Lisa Bolden, 22, a Southern Oregon University student majoring in video production.

Bolden is one of five semifinalists in Dove's Supreme Cream Oil Body Wash ad contest. Her 30-second spot was selected out of more than 3,000 entries, she says.

"I tried to enter the competition last year, but I missed the deadline by an hour," Bolden said. "That was great motivation to get my entry in on time this year."

Bolden is hoping her ad will be one of the two final videos that will be introduced by television star Amy Brenneman during a commercial break in the Oscar telecast Sunday. Viewers will then vote online or by text message for their favorite ad live during the show. The winner's ad will debut during another commercial break later in the show, says Bolden.

Dove asked "real women" to define luxury on film and in half a minute, Bolden says. She decided to avoid the obvious and hook the audience's attention by setting a dramatic scene in which she and her friend, Katy Alstat, 21, chase each other through Lithia Park.

"You know something is going on between us. But you're not sure what it is. She throws a garbage can in front of me. You can just tell something intense is going on," Bolden says, adding that she created powerful background music for her video from online non-copyrighted music loops.

"I called it 'Tempest,' " she said.

Their battle is over who will lay first claim on the shower — and a leisurely lather with Dove's new body wash product.

Alstat says she has participated in Bolden's films before.

"I'm usually just an extra. But this time I had a strong role," she says.

Strong? Or starring? Bolden opted to give Alstat the shower scene.

"I run faster than her," says Alstat, laughing.

The shower scene was shot by Bolden's beau, student cinematographer David Ives.

"It was awkward, to say the least. And crowded. Lisa was directing, and her bathroom is very small," she says.

Bolden and Alstat say Ives was pretty sanguine about his shooting gig, insisting on only one thing: After filming, he wanted the shower to himself.

"He said, 'You guys can leave. I'm going to finish showering with this stuff. It smells great,'" Bolden says.

The girls agree the moisturizing body wash, introduced in January, has a heavenly fragrance.

"I'd used the regular Dove soap before," says Bolden. "But I'd never used the body wash. It's actually really great."

As a finalist, Bolden received two plane tickets and entry into a post-Oscar party. She will fly to Los Angeles on Friday. The show airs at 5 p.m. Sunday on ABC Channel 12.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail

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