Questlove, Will Smith, and more: All the Philly region nominees to watch at the 2022 Academy Awards

This year’s Oscar noms showcase a ton of local talent.

A still from Questlove's 'Summer of Soul' showing the 5th Dimension performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969

A still from Questlove's 'Summer of Soul' showing the 5th Dimension performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969

Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures / 20th Century Studios

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Philadelphians following the 94th Academy Awards will find plenty of local connections.

As the Oscars telecast returns to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, the region is well represented. Here’s a look at everyone to root for as the classic red carpet unfurls for the first time in two years.

(Watch on ABC or another streaming service, with the main show starting at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 27.)

Will Smith

  • Born and raised in West Philadelphia
  • Nominated for Best Actor and Best Picture for “King Richard” (in which he acted and produced)
  • Smith has been nominated before (Best Actor for “Ali” and “Pursuit of Happyness”) but never won

Adam McKay

  • Attended Great Valley High School in Chester County and graduated from Temple University
  • Nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for “Don’t Look Up” (which he wrote, produced, and directed)
  • These are McKay’s sixth and seventh Oscar nominations; he previously won Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Big Short”

David Sirota

  • Grew up in Abington and graduated from Penn Charter Academy
  • Nominated for Best Original Screenplay for the film “Don’t Look Up” (which he wrote with Adam McKay)

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

  • Born and raised in West Philadelphia
  • Nominated for Best Documentary Feature for the film “Summer of Soul” (which he directed)

Bradley Cooper

  • Jenkintown native; graduated from Germantown Academy
  • Nominated for the film “Nightmare Alley” (which he produced)

Elizabeth Mirzaei

  • Havertown native; graduated from Conestoga High School
  • Nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject for “Three Songs for Benazir” (which she directed alongside her husband, Gulistan Mirzaei)

Byron Howard

  • Grew up in Lansdowne
  • Directed the Disney animated film “Encanto,” which was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film
  • He previously won Best Animated Feature Film in 2017 for “Zootopia” and was nominated for the Best Animated Feature for “Bolt”

Daniel Dae Kim

  • Grew up in Lehigh Valley; graduated from Haverford College
  • Was the voice of Chief Benja in the Disney animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film

Paloma Garcia-Lee

  • Grew up in Bucks County
  • Plays Graziella in “West Side Story” which was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Ariana DeBose), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound
  • Her mother Terry Garcia owns the Pennsylvania School of Performing Arts in Bucks County

Zach Baylin

  • Wilmington, Delaware, native
  • He wrote “King Richard” which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, as well as Best Picture, Best Actor (Will Smith), Best Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis), Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song (“Be Alive,” Beyoncé and Dixson)

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