2017 Academy Awards include work from Saskatchewan artists

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WATCH ABOVE: Saskatchewan will be well represented when the Academy Awards take place this Sunday. Ryan Kessler looks at who from the province will be in Hollywood for the Oscars – Feb 24, 2017

One California resident will be watching Sunday’s Academy Awards a long way from his roots in Humboldt, Sask.

Andrew Ford is a Disney character animator, contributing to Zootopia, which is nominated for top honours in the animated feature film category at the Oscars.

READ MORE: Oscars 2017 predictions: Picks for this year’s Academy Award winners

“It is nice knowing that these movies are connecting with people in a way, and I think those awards kind of show that,” Ford told Global News.

“Plus for the next day, it’s always a celebratory atmosphere at work.”

This year’s Golden Globes gave Ford and his co-workers reason to celebrate after Zootopia took home the award for best animated feature.

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“I certainly can’t say I won a Golden Globe. I’m part of a team that did,” Ford said.

He also contributed animation to the Pacific adventure movie Moana, which is nominated for two Oscars.

READ MORE: Corrine Koslo to voice Emma Leroy in ‘Corner Gas’ animated series

The graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta and Emily Carr University of Art and Design has had a lifelong passion for animation.

He was also a university athlete.

“It was a slower process with him. He loved the sports so much. He loved football,” said Ford’s mother, Carol McLaren.

After shadowing a family friend, Winnipeg animator Cordell Barker, creator of the National Film Board’s Cat Came Back, Ford settled on his career choice.

“He just thought, ‘This is what I’d like to do,'” McLaren said.

The Oscars also have another Saskatchewan connection this year: Best picture nominee Hell or High Water features a song from Swift Current-raised artist Colter Wall.

WATCH BELOW: Colter Wall performs his song ‘The Devil wears a Suit and Tie’

The Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon is planning to show a live broadcast of the Oscars Sunday evening. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. CT and admission is free.


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