If you’re stocking up on snacks in preparation for Oscars night on Sunday, make a note to watch out for a nominated film with a Berkeley connection.

The Barber of Birmingham is an Academy Award nominee for best documentary short subject this year. The film, which explores the impact of the then potential nominee Barack Obama as the first African American president on a group of aging Civil Rights activists in the South, was co-directed by Gail Dolgin, a Berkeley-based independent documentary filmmaker who died in October 2010 while working on the film.

Dolgin’s co-director and producer, photographer Robin Fryday, who lives in Marin, completed the movie which was given financial suport by the Berkeley Film Foundation.

Berkeleyside’s film writer John Seal described The Barber of Birmingham, whose central figure is barbershop owner James Armstrong, as “almost [a] dead cert winner”. Watch the trailer above for a taste of the film. The 84th Academy Awards are broadcast from Hollywood on Sunday February 26.

Big Screen Berkeley: Academy Award nominated shorts [02.07.12]
Berkeley’s rich tradition of documentaries finds support [11.07.11]

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...