The Gold Knight: Nominees celebrated at pre-Oscars partyWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | email@example.com
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It was a breezy and sometimes chilly evening outside the Four Seasons Hotel here as Oscar nominees walked down the red carpet on Feb. 20.
The nominees were fêted at Culina Restaurant by The Wrap News Inc., an entertainment and media news company based in Los Angeles.Even with the chilly temperatures, moods were high and nominees were excited for the evening, week and what awaits them at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday — The Oscars.
“It’s such a whirlwind week and getting invited to events like this is just phenomenal,” said John Kahrs, director of animated short film “Paperman.” “I’m happy.”
Malik Bendjelloul, nominated for documentary feature “Searching for Sugar Man,” echoed the same sentiments.
“It feels really good,” he said of being nominated and honored. “It’s surreal at times because it’s very far away from where it started, which was a very primitive thing for many, many years.”
Yan England, director of live action short film “Henry,” also described the whole experience as surreal.
“It’s unbelievable because, yes, I’m nominated, but the film itself is nominated,” said an enthusiastic England.
He said 50 people worked on “Henry” for free and the budget came out of his own pocket.
“Their generosity is now put on the spot by the Academy and this great nomination so it’s surreal and a thrill,” England said in an interview with Toledo Free Press.
Bendjelloul said his project started with little money, but it was the best story he ever heard.
“Searching for “Sugar Man” tells the story of two music fans from Cape Town, South Africa, who are trying verify a rumor about the death of folk musician and Detroit native Sixto Dias Rodriguez. While not very popular in the United States, Rodriguez has a huge following in South Africa.
“It’s kind of an inspiring thing that you can live your life without knowing you’re a superstar in another country,” Bendjelloul said of Rodriguez. “It’s kind of mind provoking.”
The filmmakers that walked the red carpet also talked about their fellow nominees.
Cori Shepherd Stern and Kief Davidson, nominees from the documentary short “Open Heart,” said they were in great company.
“We’re very excited with the people we are with,” Stern said.
“All of the nominees are very nice,” Davidson said. For documentaries, it “doesn’t feel like a competition, really.”
Joe Letteri, nominated for visual effects for “The Hobbit,” said he is looking forward to a “pretty nice night” on Sunday.
“You get to be with a lot of people who have done some pretty amazing work in the past year and you get to celebrate it and enjoy it,” said Letteri, winner of four Oscars.
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