Canada's Oscar wins: Director Chris Williams, sound mixer Craig Mann
Craig Mann accepts the award for best sound mixing for 'Whiplash' at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, February 22, 2015 5:44PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 22, 2015 10:42PM EST
Canadian director Chris Williams wins best animated feature for 'Big Hero 6'
LOS ANGELES -- Canuck director Chris Williams collected his first Oscar on Sunday night for the super-hero animated comedy "Big Hero 6," beating out two fellow Canadians in a category stacked with compatriots.
The Kitchener, Ont.-bred animator collected the trophy along with co-director Don Hall and producer Roy Conli, upsetting front-runner Dean DeBlois, the Aylmer, Que.-bred director of "How to Train Your Dragon 2."
DeBlois won the Golden Globe earlier this year and is a former Disney colleague of Williams.
Before the bash, Williams described DeBlois as one of his best friends, and joked about red carpet fisticuffs as the two made the rounds on the awards circuit.
"For both of us it's very strange and surreal and kind of funny that we are competing in this category. I was just in his wedding party a few months ago ... we watched the Super Bowl together," Williams said last week.
It was the second Oscar nomination for Williams, who also earned a nod for his directorial debut on the 2008 film "Bolt."
He also faced competition from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.-native Graham Annable, co-director of the intricate stop motion film "The Boxtrolls."
All three studied at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., at different times, and did not cross paths until later in their careers.
The other nominees in the animated feature category were "Song of the Sea" from Tomm Moore and Paul Young, and "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya," from Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura.
Williams said his second run at Oscar was even more exciting than the first.
"It seems even bigger this time -- there are more events, there's more press, seemingly more coverage this time around than even what I experienced five years ago, which even at the time was pretty overwhelming."
Canadian sound mixer Craig Mann wins Oscar for work on 'Whiplash'
LOS ANGELES -- Canadian sound mixer Craig Mann has won an Oscar for his work on the intense drumming film "Whiplash."
The 38-year-old claimed the sound mixing Academy Award along with co-nominees Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley.
They beat out teams from the films "American Sniper," "Birdman," "Intersteller" and "Unbroken."
Mann was born in Oakville, Ont., and raised in the Toronto-area cities of Pickering and Burlington.
Now L.A.-based, Mann spent years assisting the industry's top sound mixers in Canada and the United States before deciding to become a mixer himself years ago.
"Whiplash" is about an ambitious young musician and the demanding teacher who pushes him to his limit.
Mann and his colleagues collected a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award earlier this year, when he expressed surprise at the film's success.
"It's frankly kind of a miracle that this is getting the recognition that it's getting."