Halifax-raised filmmaker Ben Proudfoot has scored an Oscar nomination for the documentary short “A Concerto is a Conversation.”
Proudfoot is nominated alongside American composer Kris Bowers, who co-directed with him and is also featured in the film.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay is an executive producer on the doc, which follows Bowers as he tracks his family’s lineage.
The story focuses on the jazz pianist’s 91-year-old grandfather, Horace Bowers, and how he left his home in the Jim Crow South to eventually find success as a business owner in Los Angeles.
Bowers and Proudfoot’s project screened at the virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
The film was produced by Proudfoot’s California-based Breakwater Studios.
Bowers is a virtuoso in Hollywood, scoring the Oscar-winning film “Green Book” at age 29 and earning Emmy Award nominations for doing the score on “Mrs. America” and “When They See Us.”
But for all his success, as a Black composer, “I’ve been wondering whether or not I’m supposed to be in the spaces that I’m in,” he says in a news release.
The film is about “breaking into new spaces through generations of sacrifice that came before him.
Proudfoot, 30, has directed or produced dozens of original short films.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2021.
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press