Minnesota director pulls back curtain on voting for the Oscars

In a year when the magic of movies took us everywhere from the Emerald Isle to Graceland, David Burton Morris has more of an interest in honoring outstanding achievements in filmmaking than most.

"We always look forward to it, my wife and I, because we get to see so many films," said Morris.

After Morris directed 3 well-received independent films, two of them in Minnesota including Patti Rocks, in the '70s and '80s, he joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1989.

As one of the 9,500 or so eligible members, he's one of the industry professionals who gets to vote on the Academy Awards.

David Burton Morris  (FOX 9)

"I'm very honored, very privileged. Not a lot of people are Oscar members and when I was starting out in film school, I never thought I'd be a member of the academy," said Morris.

Morris says instead of using paper ballots like in the past, these days members watch most of the nominated movies and do all of their voting online.

In the first round, members-only vote for the category of their craft, like director or actor, and best picture, to whittle down a list of nominees.

Then in the final round, they vote for all the categories, which he did a couple of days ago.

"I'm looking for a great movie that moves me, you know. I love the movie Parasite, if you remember a few years ago, I love that film so I'm looking for films like that this year," said Morris.

Morris says he's voted for 6 of the last 9 best picture winners, and while he can't say which one he cast his ballot for this year, he gives the entire experience two thumbs up.

"Unfortunately, I thought it was kind of a weak year. I'm sure other people disagree," said Morris.

Three of Morris' movies, Loose Ends, Purple Haze, and Patti Rocks, will be shown at the Trylon Cinema in south Minneapolis, the weekend of April 7-9.