Kearney alum wins award for work on Oscar-winning “La La Land”

One local graduate was recently lauded for her work on the record-breaking Oscar-nominated flick “La La Land.”

Deborah Aquila, class of 1976, was awarded the Artios Award for Outstanding Casting for her work on the film, which picked up 14 Oscar nominations this year, tying a record previously held by such films as “All About Eve” and “Titanic.”

Aquila — a famous casting director known for her work on such films as “Shawshank Redemption,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Mission Impossible 2,” among others — has been nominated 15 times by the Casting Society of America for its Artios Award. She previously won in 2011 for her work on the comedy feature, “Red,” and in 2012 took home the same award for her work on the feature, “My Week With Marilyn.”

In 2003, the Kearney girl was awarded the Hollywood Film Festival Career Achievement Award.

“I love Bishop Kearney High School and speak about how vital the education (and support) I received there was in my life,” she said.

“La La Land,” which stars Emma Stone (this year’s Oscar-winner for best actress) and Ryan Gosling (a nominee this year for the Oscar for best actor), tells the story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, both struggling to make ends meet while pursing their dreams in a city known for destroying them.

It won seven of the 14 Academy Awards it was nominated for.

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