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6 Minnesota Connections to the Oscars

Updated: 03/02/2014 10:29 AM
Created: 03/02/2014 10:24 AM KAALtv.com

(KSTP) - What do the first Somali actor to be nominated for an Oscar, actress Amy Adams, a producer for "12 Years a Slave," a designer shoe company, and vodka have in common?

All of these will be representing Minnesota in some way or another at the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

Barkhad Abdi, of Minneapolois, is up for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Captain Phillips." Abdi, along with three other amateur actors from Minnesota, portray Somali pirates who hijack an American cargo ship off the Horn of Africa in 2009 and take its captain, played by Hanks, hostage. Abdi is the pirates' ringleader.

Adams, who was nominated for Best Actress for her role as a con artist in American Hustle, got her show business break while performing in the Chanhassen Dinner Theater between 1996 and 1999, according to the theater's website.

Bill Pohlad, the founder of Minneapolis's River Road Entertainment, co-produced "12 Years a Slave." He previously won a Best Picture Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain," which he also produced. His family owns the Minnesota Twins, among other enterprises.

There will also be two Minnesota-based companies represented in the $55,000 Oscar swag bags given to celebrities. Designer shoe label Max Martin and AVIV 613 Vodka, both of Minneapolis, will be in the bags.

Earlier last month, 71-year-old Peter Anderson, of Eau Claire, Wis., was honored for his technological contributions to the industry. Anderson is considered an innovator in cinematography and visual effects and worked on "Tron" and the 1998 version of "Godzilla."

You can watch the Oscars Sunday night on ABC 6 News.

Photo: MGN Online