Five Short Animated Films Nominated for the Academy Award
The upcoming Oscars have one of the toughest competitions in the categories of animated feature and animated short. Nominated feature films include blockbusters like Moana and Zootopia, and the short film competition is just as astonishing. Five nominated films come from, and represent five incredibly interesting, and completely different worlds.
Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev
This is a Canadian-French short based on the story by Georgi Gospodinov. It was directed by Theodore Ushev, one of the most memorable animators today, who’s work always bears a dark imagery, such as the one in Blood Manifesto (2015), in which he used his own blood as a medium. The story in Blind Vaysha follows a girl born blind to the present, who can see the past out of her left eye, and the future out of her right eye, and is thus unable to function normally in the present. She is called blind Vaysha by the people in her village. This movie is a great warning to how most people live and think; tormented about the past and worried about the future, which makes them incapable of living now.
Borrowed Time by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
Borrowed Time is an uncommon western. It holds many elements of classic cinema about the wild west, but offers many unique traits as well. It’s a story about a young sheriff and his inner battles. The film has had numerous nominations and awards thus far, including Best In Show, SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival 2016, Best Animated Short, St. Louis International Film Festival 2015, First Place: Animation, USA Film Festival 2016, Critic’s Choice Award, Blue Plum Animation Festival 2016 and many others.
Pear Cider and Cigarettes by Robert Valley and Cara Speller
This a wonderfully unique story about a dysfunctional friendship between Techno and Robert. In many ways a usual story about a “normal”, successful guy, and his “bad” counterpart, Pear Cider and Cigarettes is at the same time uniquely captivating unlike most such stories. The story follows Techno’s self destruction and Robert’s failed attempts to save him from fighting, drinking and smoking. The film was also nominated and won the Annie Award in the category of Best Animated Special Production.
Pearl by Patrick Osborne
Pearl is the first virtual reality animated film ever to be nominated for the Academy Award, and it’s the first successful attempt of creating a full 360˚ short. It has also received three Annie Awards (Patrick Osborne for Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production, and two awards for music and production design). The director, Patrick Osborne, has already won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 2014, with his film Feast. The film utilizes the more and more popular 2D/3D animation hybrid style, and it works great, resulting in a visually remarkable piece. The story covers a complicated father-daughter relationship through a musical 6 minute car ride in an old hatchback. The film is available online, and you get to move the camera around yourself, and you get to create your own, unique watching experience, which makes Pearl an especially special animated short.
Piper by Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer
Piper is Pixar’s animated short that came out alongside Finding Dory. It’s a cute story about a baby sandpiper who is just learning about what he can encounter in the outside world, about him overcoming his fears, and struggling to become a grown up.