Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Two Canadians Up for Oscars for Best Live-Action Short

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Two Canadians Up for Oscars for Best Live-Action Short

Article excerpt

Two Canucks get live-action short Oscar nods


TORONTO - When Montreal actor-filmmaker Yan England lived in Los Angeles for five years in the 2000s, he would stare longingly at the steps of what was then called the Kodak Theater, the home of the Academy Awards.

"But I've never wanted to go up those stairs," England, 30, said Thursday in a phone interview from Montreal.

"I've always told myself, 'No, don't walk up those stairs because if you ever get the slightest possibility ever in your life, maybe, to be nominated at the Academy Awards, then you'll walk up those stairs for the first time. Other than that, don't."

England is now able to fulfil that promise, thanks to his Oscar nomination in the live-action short category for his 21-minute French-language drama "Henry."

Another Canadian also got a nod in the same category on Thursday: Halifax native Ariel Nasr, producer of the 28-minute Afghanistan-shot "Buzkashi Boys."

"It's incredibly humbling, thrilling," Nasr said in a telephone interview from his home in Montreal shortly after the nominations were announced.

England wrote, produced and directed "Henry," about an 84-year-old concert pianist who is shaken by the mysterious disappearance of the love of his life. Quebec's Gerard Poirier stars in the title role and Louise Laprade plays his wife.

The Montreal-shot film is inspired by England's experiences with his own grandfather, who had Alzheimer's disease before dying at age 96.

Given the personal nature of the project, England was naturally choked up with he learned he'd made the Oscar cut.

Making the situation more intense: he heard the news while co-hosting his morning CKOI radio show and with parents in-studio.

"I just burst into tears and I cried and I was laughing, I was yelling," said England.

"It was a mix of all the possible emotions that went through me. It's actually the best moment of my life, so far."

Nasr, meanwhile, is hoping the Oscar love will not only raise the profile of his project but also of filmmaking in Afghanistan. …

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