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Atlanta's Oscar connections


Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 2017 Academy Awards, airing at 7 p.m. tonight on ABC. Given Georgia's booming film industry, we're naturally on the lookout for local ties among the winners.

NEW: Our interview with Mahershala Ali, the first Oscar winner of the night

Our key Oscars connection: locally filmed "Hidden Figures" is up for best picture and best adapted screenplay. Octavia Spencer is up for a best supporting actress award. The movie, about African American women who dealt with racial and gender bias as they performed complex mathematical calculations key to NASA's early launch missions, also stars "Empire's" Taraji P. Henson and Atlanta R&B singer and actress Janelle Monae.

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The AJC's Oscar Party team got some inside intel:

MORE: Where "Hidden Figures" filmed in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia

"Hidden Figures" is based on a nonfiction book. How it all came together is fascinating

In a quick red-carpet interview on Sunday, Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer said metro-Atlanta filmed "Hidden Figures" was a history lesson that offered hope and inspiration. It's up for best picture. Image: ABC

The locally filmed sci-fi romance "Passengers" is up for best original score and production design. It stars Jennifer Lawrence, whose other Atlanta work includes the second, third and fourth movies in the "Hunger Games" series ("Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay 1 and 2) and Chris Pratt, whose work here includes "Guardians of the Galaxy 2."

EXCLUSIVE: The Buckhead estate where Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Garner and Kate Winslet have all stayed while working in Atlanta

"Sully," about the heroic pilot who safely landed a distressed airplane on the Hudson River, is up for sound editing. It was directed by Clint Eastwood, who also filmed "Trouble With the Curve" here and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" in Savannah. Tom Hanks, who stars in the title role, collected a best actor trophy for another title role, in "Forrest Gump." The best-picture Oscar winner was filmed partly in Savannah. 

PHOTOS: Check out Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood hanging out at the Meehan's in downtown Atlanta

Some other connections you might find interesting: "Moonlight" is up for best picture, directing, film editing, original score, adapted screenplay and cinematography. A scene toward the end takes place in Atlanta (although it was filmed in Miami). Star Mahershala Ali, up for best supporting actor, has spent time in metro Atlanta for "Hidden Figures" and "Mockingjay" parts 1 and 2. Monae also appears in "Moonlight."

PAST COVERAGE: Our interview with Mahershala Ali

Denzel Washington, seen here at the Atlanta screening of "Fences," is up for a best actor trophy tonight. Photo: Armani Martin

"Fences" is up for best picture and adapted screenplay. Atlanta director Kenny Leon was nominated for a Tony for his direction of the Broadway version, also starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, who are up for best actor/best supporting actress Oscars. Washington's Atlanta roles include his starring role in the movies "Flight" and "Remember The Titans"

VIDEO: Our interview with Denzel Washington at the Atlanta screening of "Fences"

Some more distant connections: "13th" is up for best documentary. Its director, Ava DuVernay, directed Atlanta-filmed "Selma," which was nominated for best picture and won a best original song Oscar.


Ryan Gosling is up for best leading actor for "La La Land," a best-picture contender. He filmed the 2016 detective comedy "Nice Guys" here.

"Arrival," up for best picture, stars Jeremy Renner, who filmed "Kill the Messenger" and "Captain America: Civil War" in Atlanta," and Amy Adams, who was here for "Trouble With the Curve."

And ok this might be sort of a stretch (a really big one, but whatevs).. "Moana," up for best animated film, stars the voice of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, whose work in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia includes some of the "Fast and Furious" movies and the upcoming "Baywatch" and "Jumanji" remakes.

YOUR REWARD FOR READING TO THE END: How The Rock once saved Kevin Hart's life!


About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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