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The former Prudhoe schoolboy who was among the 2021 Oscar winners UK News

A former schoolboy from Northumberland was among those who won big at last night’s Oscars.

James Reed, who was educated at Prudhoe Community High School (PCHS), accepted the award for best documentary alongside co-director Pippa Ehrlich for their film “My Octopus Teacher”.

The documentary, which follows diver Craig Foster as he forms a unique bond with an octopus living in an underwater kelp forest near Cape Town, South Africa, defeated the Crip Camp disability documentary competition and of the Romanian collective of investigation into corruption.

James, who left PCHS in 1997, saw his entire old school cheer him on ahead of Sunday night’s sparkling ceremony.

On Thursday night, he hosted an exclusive question-and-answer session for the school’s media students from his hotel room in Los Angeles as he prepared for the awards ceremony. Ahead of the ceremony, a school spokesperson said the school community had “fingers” crossed for a victory for its former students.

Accepting the award at the 93rd Academy Awards, James thanked filmmaker Craig, saying the film was “his story.”

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He said, “He kind of showed us if a man can form a friendship with an octopus, it kind of makes you wonder what’s possible.”

My Octopus Teacher, available on Netflix, has won numerous awards for its intimate portrayal of a man’s close connection to nature.

The film also picked the Bafta for Best Documentary earlier this month, while James was in Uganda filming a series for Netflix.

My Professor Octopus can be seen on Netflix.