A labour of love for film producer Grant Hill

SLEEPING through the early-morning Oscar nomination announcements reflected a Rochester-born producer’s expectations.Grant Hill had thought the film he co-produced, The Tree of Life, was an outside chance to receive a nomination for best picture.It was only when a friend called him and told him to turn on the television that the reality set in.“(I was) surprised. We thought that we were very much an outside chance, so we are all delighted to be recognised by the Academy,” he said via email.The Tree of Life stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and won the Palme d’Or, the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival.It took six years to make and director Terrence Mailick had spent the previous 15 years developing the concept.“I love this film. It was in many ways very much a labour of love for all that worked on it,” Mr Hill said. “We never had very much money, but there was support from all involved and it had great momentum from day one.” The Academy Awards will be handed out later this month.The Oscar’s executive committee changed its rule to allow four producers of The Tree of Life to receive a nomination. Typically, only three producers can receive a nomination for a film.It has been a long and challenging career for Mr Hill.“I have been very lucky in my career, but in this industry luck plays only a very small part,” he said. “Far more important (is) the support that you receive from your friends and family, and most important is the realisation that nothing is going to happen without the strength and commitment to making it happen.”

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