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Why Pittsburgh could make Oscar history

| Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, 6:21 p.m.
David Lee
Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.

The Steel City will play a starring role at Sunday's Oscars show.

Pittsburgh may not be viewed as the most cinematic city in the world, but it is quickly becoming a popular filming location.

The most recent example is “Fences,” an adaption of the critically acclaimed play by Pittsburgh's own August Wilson. The film, directed by Denzel Washington, is nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Washington, a two-time Oscar winner, is considered to be a favorite along with Casey Affleck of “Manchester by the Sea” for Best Actor honors.

If “Fences” takes the top honor, it will follow “Silence of the Lambs,” the 1991 thriller starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, and “The Deer Hunter,” the 1978 war drama, as Best Picture winners filmed in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.

Pittsburgh's rise as a player in the film industry will be the focus of a panel Wednesday at Point Park University's Center for Media Innovation , Downtown. The noon discussion is partly sponsored by Point Park University and TribLIVE.com

The panel's participants include:

• Dawn Keezer, longtime director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, responsible for bringing to the city dozens of high-profile productions such as “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Out of the Furnace” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” The Film Office on Sunday will host its annual Oscars event, “Lights! Glamour! Action!”

• Michael Killien and Kathy Dziebek, film industry veterans and founders of Animal Inc., the company behind the ABC comedy series “Downward Dog.”

Trib contributing writer Michael Machosky breaks down the latest TV series filming in Pittsburgh.

The Center for Media Innovation is located at the corner of Third and Wood streets, Downtown.

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