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Tonto Woman Director - “I was absolutely gobsmacked”

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BuryFreePress
By Felicity Hay

Director Daniel’s an Oscar nominee


A television director from Bury St Edmunds is Hollywood bound after being nominated for an Oscar.
Daniel Barber produced and funded his own short film, The Tonto Woman, as a way of breaking into the film industry.

He is now preparing to take part in Hollywood’s biggest, most prestigious and glamorous night of the year, later this month.

He has already won awards at two international film festivals – Palm Springs and LA Shorts – but has now made it into the final five for Best Live Action Short Film at the Oscars.

Mr Barber said: “It’s a wonderful honour. I was absolutely gobsmacked to be honest, I was really pleasantly surprised.

“To get nominated is a really lovely reward as it feels that somebody quite important is saying well done.”

Mr Barber works for London company Knucklehead, which specialises in making television commercials, and he has already put his name to top brands such as McCains, Dunlop, BMW and Ford Fiesta.

But he wanted to show people he was more than capable of making films longer than 60 seconds in length, so he joined up with colleague Matthew Brown and directed the 35-minute long film, which is based on a short story by American writer Elmore Leonard.

It was filmed in South Eastern Spain and is based on a cattle rustler who meets a woman living in isolation after being held prisoner for 11 years by the Mojave Indians.

Since the nomination, Mr Barber has already been contacted by people in the film industry who are interested in his work.

Mr Barber said: “TV commercials don’t really allow a director the space to tell a complete story and have characters relate to each other.

“But it just sort of blossomed and bloomed into this crazy successful thing.”

Mr Barber said he could have never have done it without his wife Sandra who supported him all the way.

He is now preparing for a trip down the red carpet at the Oscar Academy Awards Ceremony, on February 24, in America – if it goes ahead. A screenwriters’ strike over payments to writers from shows offered on the internet, threatens the prestigious awards ceremony.