District 9 Oscar nominations: statements from Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell

Congratulations to the nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards that were announced this morning, and in particular to those nominees from Vancouver.

Last year's surprise sci-fi hit District 9 garnered four nominations, including best picture.

The film's other three nominations include Vancouver connections. Up for best film editing is Julian Clarke, a graduate of the UBC Film Production program. Dan Kaufman and Peter Muyzers of Image Engine, and Robert Habros of the Embassy (along with Matt Aitken of Weta Studios in New Zealand) are nominated for best visual effects.

Vancouver-based District 9 director Neill Blomkamp and Vancouver screenwriter Terri Tatchell, who are  both  Vancouver Film School alumni,  are up for best adapted screenplay.

Blomkamp issued this statement in response to his nomination for best adapted screenplay: "Every aspiring filmmaker dreams of being nominated by the Academy, but when we began making District 9, none of us dared to think that our small film, shot in South Africa, with no well-known actors, could be Oscar nominated. And honestly, if it weren't for Peter Jackson’s belief in the film, we wouldn't be here today. I'm extremely gratified, excited, and humbled, and I'm also grateful to the Academy for recognizing so many of the talented people who helped make it a reality."

Tatchell made this statement: "I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel for the many people responsible for making District 9 a film that the Academy members deemed worthy of this honour. Surrounded by the brilliant talents as I was, one can’t help but be raised higher and there is no doubt about it, this is as high as it gets! So I am forever indebted and grateful to Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson for being so very generous in sharing their genius for story with us. Thank you to the unbelievably talented Sharlto Copley who took our script and literally became Wikus, taking him to places far exceeding anything existing on the page. Thank you to Image Engine, The Embassy, Weta Digital and Weta Workshop for bringing the story to life with such incredible creativity and frightening realism. And thank you to my brilliant co-writer and director Neill Blomkamp, whose vision and brilliance never ceases to raise the bar higher than I dare dream."