Barney's Version director Richard J. Lewis and screenwriter Michael Konyves attended a lunch held Thursday for Canadian Oscar contenders, saying they are thrilled for their colleague Adrien Morot, who is up for the best makeup prize.

"I'm so happy for him," Lewis said at the event held at the Canadian consul general in Los Angeles.

"Adrien did a fantastic job and he's amazing to work with. We had a great relationship during the course of making this movie. Actually, I have a funny story about Adrien. When I first met him, he would get on the phone and he'd always say 'Maestro' and I thought: 'That is so respectful.' It took me a month to realize that his company is called Maestro!"

Montreal-based Morot scored the only Academy Award nomination for Barney's Version, the big-screen adaptation of Mordecai Richler's beloved final novel.

Konyves, who wrangled the book into a screenplay, plans to watch the Oscars on Sunday at the Los Angeles home of Barney producer Robert Lantos.

"Adrien's nomination is fantastic and well-deserved. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy," he said Thursday.

Morot, dressed in a charcoal grey blazer, purple tie and purple button-down shirt, says he was surfing the Internet on Oscar nomination day when he suddenly got an email from actor Paul Giamatti (who won a Golden Globe for his performance in Barney's Version ).

"He said, 'I don't have the Internet here. What is going on? Who is nominated?"' said Morot. "And then I suddenly got a bunch of 'congratulations' emails, so I wrote back saying, 'I guess we're nominated."'

Villeneuve feels "growing excitement"

Guests who attended Thursday's event included director Norman Jewison and actor Alan Thicke.

Denis Villeneuve, the Montreal director whose war-torn drama Incendies is vying for best foreign-language film at the Oscars, said he felt "growing excitement" as the big night draws closer.

"For a few weeks, you try to just relax and unplug yourself from it to be able to sleep, but since yesterday I felt something change in my body and I'm very excited right now," he said.

"I know I have my chance to win. At the same time, I am against top people, people I admire who I am a fan of, so for me it's already a big win just to be there Sunday."

While his children will be at home in Quebec watching the awards show on television, Villeneuve will be attending the Academy Awards with his wife, actress Macha Grenon, who has a small role in Barney's Version.

Writer/director Dean DeBlois, who was raised in Aylmer, Que., and is nominated for best animated feature for How to Train Your Dragon, is excited but nervous.

"It's coming up quickly," he said of the Oscars. "I just have measured expectations because I know we are up against a behemoth in  Toy Story 3. It has a great following and a lot of momentum behind it, but our film seems to be quite beloved. I certainly hope that we win, however, if we don't, it's not going to stop us. We're already making a second one."

Villeneuve said he was thrilled to meet Jewison, because the director's film, Fiddler on the Roof, was one of his favourites as a child.

Vancouver sound technician Craig Berkey, who is nominated for two Oscars for True Grit, was unable to attend the luncheon.