Oscar nods for Ontario-shot film a feather in cap of production industry

Major motion pictures being filmed in southern Ontario is nothing new, but a near record-breaking haul of Oscar nominations for Shape of Water is something the Canadian film industry should take pride in, says Brock University film expert Scott Henderson.

“It’s a reminder of the excellent industry that exists up here,” says Henderson, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. Shape of Water was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, and received 13 Oscar nominations Tuesday, Jan. 23 in advance of the March 4 Academy Awards.

Henderson, who also serves as Executive Director of the Popular Culture Association of Canada, says there were a few surprises in the nominations announcement.

“I think the thing that stands out the most has to be James Franco’s absence from the Best
Actor list,” Henderson says. “He won the Golden Globe and then the sexual assault allegations came out, so I think that changed some people’s Oscar votes.”

In the Best Picture category, the film expert thinks Call Me by Your Name has a legitimate shot at pulling off an upset win, but he thinks too many movies were nominated.

“I’ve never been a fan of the expanded Best Picture category,” he says. “I liked it when it was five films. It’s just diluted with more than that.”

Henderson’s department was also paying close attention to the Live Action Short category Tuesday. The department hosts the Brock University Film Series each year, and on Feb. 28 all five finalists in the category will be screened during a special Oscar night event at the Pen Centre’s Landmark Cinemas. For more information, visit the BUFS website.

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