Monday, November 10, 2014

Oscars Short List

I don't know if you heard, but the Academy Awards animated shorts "short list" was just announced, and my film "Footprints" made it on the list!

Three weeks ago, I attended the screening of all of the eligible animated shorts (56 films), which took place over 2 days, to vote on the films.  The quality this year was quite good.

Some of my favorites were "The Mask of Red Death" by Raul Garcia, "Rocky & Bullwinkle" (a trailer for the feature), "The Ledge-End of Phil from Accounting", and the Pixar short "Lava" - which I really liked (call me sentimental) but the NY audiences laughed at.

They showed my film "Footprints" right after the great Glen Keane's film "Duet" - so I thought my chances were dead in the water. 

To my surprise, last Wednesday night I got the word via e-mail that "Footprints" made it to the short list!  Whoopee!

The interesting situation this year is that I happen to have two Oscar-eligible films, "Footprints" in the animated shorts section, and "Cheatin'" in the animated features category.  And if the award Gods smile on me, I'll have a very rare opportunity to have both films nominated.  I don't think any director - not John Lasseter, Walt Disney or Hayao Miyazaki - has had two films in different categories in the same year.  That would be historic!

So, here's a run-down of the Animated Shorts "short list", and my opinions of the films:

"The Bigger Picture" by Daisy Jacobs.  Very inventive, but too crude for the Academy.

"Coda" by Alan Holly.  Beautiful, but too depressing.

"The Dam Keeper" by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi.  I think this film has a shot for a nomination.

"Duet" by Glen Keane.  A lock for a nomination.

 "Feast" by Patrick Osborne (Disney).  Also a lock for a nomination.

"Footprints" by Bill Plympton.  Who knows?

"Me and My Moulton" by Torill Kove.  Nice story and beautiful colors.  It's a toss-up.

"The Numberlys" by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg.  It's beautiful and smart, it should be nominated.

 "A Single Life" by Joris Oprins.  Frankly, I don't remember this one.

"Symphony No. 42" by RĂ©ka Bucsi.  Very funny and clever.  Short, funny takes that are linked together.  I liked it, but it may be too obscure.

Tune in for the big announcement on January 15.  Meanwhile, I'll be praying to the animation gods...

--Bill P.

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