Last Sunday was a life-changing moment for film producer Nick Reed after his documentary scooped an Oscar at a star-studded ceremony which saw him rub shoulders with celebrities.
The former Eastbourne sixth-former met the likes of Bette Midler, Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper as his film about Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest survivor of the Holocaust, saw him receive one of the coveted golden gongs.
The documentary called The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life came up trumps in the Best Documentary Short Subject.
Alice, who sadly died a week before the awards ceremony at the age of 110, was an established London-based pianist and used music to overcome the terrors she experienced under Hitler’s regime.
The 39-minute long factual film focuses on her life.
The documentary, described as ‘one of the most inspirational and uplifting stories of the year’, was directed by previous Oscar winner Malcolm Clarke, produced by Nick and co-produced by his sister, Pip Reed, who lives in Pevensey Bay.
Nick, who said he was ‘in shock’ when he received his nomination, said ahead of the awards ceremony, “Three years ago at the Academy Awards I was so moved by the documentary section that I vowed I would try to make a documentary every year to bring something thought-provoking and helpful into the world.
“He (Clarke) told me a little about Alice Herz-Sommer, a then-107-year-old pianist and Holocaust survivor living in London.
“I was sold, and we quickly hired a researcher and crew.
“Just the experience of spending time with Alice, who smiles and laughs as she tells you how to be a better human being, is one of the highlights of my life.”
He added, “After my nomination I started to realise how truly important the Academy is to the balance of the film community. The Academy gives all of us a beautiful goal.
“A nomination breaks through the clutter, its vote of quality gives you a platform to get the media to at least look at your film.”
The film producer, who also met with Sir Alex Ferguson, actor Neil Patrick Harris and many more celebrities during the course of the evening, referred to it as ‘a hell of a night’.
His sister Pip added, “I’m so proud of his achievement and it’s so deserved, we’re all still trying to digest the enormity of it.”