“It sounds surreal.”
That’s how Halifax-born director Ben Proudfoot reacts to being known as “Oscar winner.”
He took dwelling the Oscar on Sunday night time in Los Angeles, for his quick documentary “The Queen of Basketball.”
“It was a full physique form of emotional expertise,” he advised International Information Morning, in an interview that may air on Wednesday, concerning the second he heard his identify.
His mom, who was his date, gave him a hug and the remainder is a little bit of a blur.
Halifax director Ben Proudfoot wins Oscar for ‘The Queen of Basketball’
His 22-minute movie centres on the story of Lucy Harris, the one girl to be drafted by the NBA and the primary Black girl inducted into the Basketball Corridor of Fame.
Throughout his acceptance speech, Proudfoot saluted the late Harris and famous her household was in attendance.
“If there’s anybody on the market that also doubts there’s an viewers for feminine athletes, let this Academy Award be the reply,” he advised the applauding viewers on the Dolby Theatre.
He additionally known as for President Joe Biden to carry Brittney Griner dwelling to the USA. Griner, an WNBA all-star, has been detained in Russia since mid-February after allegedly having cannabis oil in her baggage at an airport.
“If I used to be fortunate sufficient to win, I noticed it as a possibility to talk out on behalf of issues that might have mattered to Lucy. And I do know that fairness in sport, gender parity in sport was what she cared about,” he stated.
“And so despite the fact that I’m not an athlete myself, I’ve realized so much.”
Harris, who Proudfoot known as “an unbelievable pioneer of basketball,” handed away after the movie was accomplished, however earlier than the Oscar nomination.
“Everybody had the picture of her on the pink carpet emblazoned … in our minds,” he stated.
“It was a sudden loss. And I believe this Academy Award is a wonderful approach to honor her legacy. And I hope it helps make clear Lucy herself and different girls like her.”
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This was Proudfoot’s first Oscar win. He was nominated final 12 months for the quick documentary, ‘A Concerto is a Dialog.’
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‘A spotlight of my life’
Whereas there have been many stars to hobnob with on the pink carpet, there was one specific “hero” Proudfoot stated he was excited to fulfill shortly after successful his award.
“After I walked down, there is sort of a business break and I noticed Steven Spielberg simply sitting there on his telephone,” he described.
As soon as he mustered the braveness, he stated he determined to strategy the famed director — Oscar statue in hand.
“He simply noticed me, proper. So I went over and I stated, ‘Hey, you understand, I wouldn’t be right here with out you. You actually impressed me to turn out to be a filmmaker.’”
To his shock, Spielberg requested him if he wished to pose for a photograph. Then, he known as out to cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to snap the pic.
“So he palms my telephone to Janusz Kaminski, the best picture maker that walked on the face of the planet and he’s saying, ‘OK, you go right here and let’s get the stage within the again’ and no matter doing his factor,” Proudfoot stated.
“I’m there holding the [Oscar statue] like this. And he says, ‘Maintain it up like, you’re proud.’ And I stated,’ I’m proud!’ He was directing me.”
The end result, stated Proudfoot, was an awesome second and reminiscence he described as a “spotlight of my life.”
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It was additionally a second that Proudfoot by no means thought would occur, whereas rising up in Halifax.
“I believe loads of instances once I was youthful and I hadn’t actually began having any success, I assumed right here’s no method that I’m going to have the ability to obtain loopy issues or watching behind the scenes of Steven Spielberg. No, I’m by no means going to have the ability to try this as a result of I’m from Halifax,” he stated.
“However the reality of the matter is, Halifax is definitely one of many best epicenters of inventive expertise.”
Proudfoot stated he hopes his win conjures up the following era of filmmakers, who like him, are “a product of Nova Scotia.”
“What I’ve to say to any anyone, particularly younger folks in Nova Scotia who’ve aspirations that appear somewhat far-fetched: something is feasible and sure the sources and the individuals who might help you get it proper there in Nova Scotia,” he stated.
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