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Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 03/ 7/2010

Oscars 2010: Checking in with local Oscar nominee Gregg Helvey

By Jen Chaney

Our Loudon County-native Oscar nominee -- that's Gregg Helvey, director of the live-action short film "Kavi" and a guy raised in the Purcellville, Va., area -- will be donning his tuxedo and getting ready to walk his first Academy Awards red carpet today.

No upcoming local screenings of "Kavi" -- a dramatic short about a "young boy who wants to escape from the brick kiln where he is forced to work as a modern-day slave" -- are currently planned, but here's a quick hit from the movie's trailer:

I checked in with Helvey again Saturday afternoon to gauge his pre-glitzy-awards show mental state.

"It's been so exciting but overwhelming," he said via telephone. "I'm trying to get to this point where I can just enjoy myself and not worry about all the details."

The highlight of his week was attending a reception for the nominees Thursday evening that was hosted by The Hollywood Reporter and held at the private residence of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. There he got to rub elbows with producers from "The Hurt Locker" and other contenders that he's been seeing pretty frequently on the busy pre-Oscar circuit.

"Many of the other nominees I've talked to are just as giddy as I am," he said.

Things have been so crazed that as of yesterday, he hadn't even seen his parents yet; they're staying at a hotel that his mother booked last June because "she just said she had a feeling" her son might get an Oscar nod. (Moms are good like that.)

Mom and Dad (that's Anne and Gregg Helvey) will walk the red carpet this afternoon with their son. And Helvey says he's still hoping to see a few of the blue ribbons he's been doling out -- designed to bring attention to modern-day slavery -- peeking out from a few lapels.

"I've been passing them out to people, whether they're Oscar nominees or just Oscar fans or just people interested in the issue," the filmmaker said.

Unlike veteran stars who have whole entourages devoted to letting them know where to be and when, Helvey also was still working out basic logistics yesterday. He even asked this reporter when is the optimum time to arrive on the red carpet.

Here's hoping I didn't steer him wrong, and that I'll see him out there with his proud parents later today.

By Jen Chaney  | March 7, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season  
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Comments

Are you sure about local screenings? I saw Kavi as part of the Oscar-nom live-action shorts at the E street theater, and from what I can tell it's still there.

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