Ben Proudfoot’s short documentary is headed to the Oscars, and so is he — in the midst of pandemic-related upheaval in the industry and a major shift in how award shows connect with their guests and audiences.
The Halifax director is nominated alongside co-director Kris Bowers for A Concerto is a Conversation, their 13-minute feature about Bowers’s grandfather, Horace Bowers, and the discrimination he faced as he escaped the Jim Crow South.
And while the film saw early success after debuting through the New York Times’ Op-Docs series in November, Proudfoot says promoting the film was a challenge. Despite attending virtual events and festivals, the Oscars will be the first live event Proudfoot has attended in more than a year.
He said that makes him feel very grateful to finally have the opportunity to celebrate the project in person.
“This was a tough year for me,” Proudfoot said in an interview with CBC News. “My dad passed away in May, and with the pandemic … it’s been difficult for every human being on the face of the Earth.