Oscar Watch 2023: The Long Shorts List

***This article originally appeared in the December ’22 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 325)***

Welcome to Animation Magazine‘s annual attempt to clock the dozens of animated shorts in the running for Academy Awards consideration. The films detailed here have achieved this either by winning a qualifying prize at one of the globe’s top film festivals or with a theatrical screening engagement. The official shortlist (15 films) will be announced December 21. Representing a variety of techniques and narrative tracks, each one of these diverse titles deserves our congratulations for making it over Oscar’s first hurdle!

 

7lbs 8oz
U.S.A.
Director: Yoo Lee
Produced By: Xin Li, Evelyn Angela Martinez
Synopsis: When a young mother moves onto 8th Street in Jersey City, New Jersey, she learns about the value of the community.
Qualifying Win: Florida Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Airborne
Poland
Director: Andrzej Jobczyk
Produced By: Piotr Szczepanowicz, Jakub Karwowski, Letko
Synopsis:  This surreal animated short connects the world of flying machines with the kingdom of flora and fauna. Engrossed in the fight, pilot loses his target which leads to tragedy. The plane crashes into the crown of a tree. The tragedy that seems to be the end opens a new stage in history.
Qualifying Win: Short Shorts Film Festival – Best Short (Animation)

Amok
Romania / Hungary
Director: Balázs Turai
Produced By: Boddah, Safeframe VFX
Synopsis: After losing his fiance and his good looks in a freak accident, Clyde must confront his inner demon.
Qualifying Wins: Annecy Cristal, Sarajevo Film Festival – Best European Short

Bird in the Peninsula
France / Japan
Director: Atsushi Wada
Produced By: Nobuaki Doi, Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Pierre Baussaron
Synopsis: A group of boys rehearse a dance for a traditional initiation ceremony, then one of the boys chases after a strange bird — a girl follows him without knowing why, but one day, the boy will no longer be able to see the bird either.
Qualifying Win: Ottawa International Animation Festival – Best Independent Short

Black Slide
Israel
Director: Uri Lotan
Produced By: Amit Gicelter, Andrew Lord
Synopsis: Eviah, a young and timid kid on the brink of puberty, and his best friend sneak onto the Black Slide, the most terrifying ride at the water park. He soon gains insight to prepare him for events he is about to confront at home.
Qualifying Wins: Chilemonos – Best International Animation Short, Heartland Film: Indy Shorts – Best Animated Short

Black Sun (Noir-Soleil)
France
Director: Marie Larrivé
Produced By: Eddy Prod., Respiro Prod.
Synopsis: When an earthquake in Naples bay reveals the body of a man believed to have died of suicide 40 years ago, Italian police contact Dino and his daughter Victoria for a DNA test. In the course of this unexpected journey, Victoria digs into her father’s mysterious past.
Qualifying Win: Uppsala International Short Film Festival – Grand Prix (International)

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
U.K. / U.S.
Director: Peter Baynton & Charlie Mackesy
Produced By: Cara Speller, NoneMore; J.J. Abrams, Hannah Minghella, Bad Robot
Synopsis: A story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages in a heartwarming, classically animated film based on Charlie Mackesy’s book. The heartfelt journey follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse traveling together in the boy’s search for home.
Qualifying by exhibition.

The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse
The Boy. the Mole. the Fox and the Horse

La Calesita
U.S.
Director: Augusto Schillaci
Produced By: Oliver Benavidez, Reel FX Animation Studios
Synopsis: A heartfelt story about the beloved Argentinian merry-go-round operators who have dedicated their lives to providing fun and happiness to children and their neighborhoods — a story of perseverance and placing community above the individual.
Qualified by exhibition.

Canary
Canada
Directors: PH Dallaire & Ben Therriault
Produced By: Marie-Cécile Dahan, RodeoFX
Synopsis: In 1922, an adolescent coal miner teaches a caged canary how to play dead to get out of work in the gloomy underground, which leads to mischievous antics and unexpected consequences.
Qualified by exhibition.

The Cave
South Korea
Director: Kim Jinman, Chon Jiyoung
Produced By: Kim Jinman, Chon Jiyoung
Synopsis: A boy longs for his father’s affection, but his father is only interested in fishing. When his father dies, the boy’s sense of loss turns into an obsession with his father’s belongings. After he vengefully curses the relatives who took his father’s items, it begins to eat the boy’s soul.
Qualifying Win: Palm Springs ShortFest – Best Animation Short

The Cave
The Cave

Christopher at Sea
France / U.K./ U.S.
Director: Tom CJ Brown
Produced By: Psyop, Temple Carrington & Brown, Miyu
Synopsis: Christopher embarks on a transatlantic voyage as a passenger on a cargo ship. His hopes of finding out what lures so many men to sea sets him on a journey into solitude, fantasy and obsession.
Qualified by exhibition.

The Clearing
U.K.
Director: Daniel Robert Hope
Produced By: Johannes Schubert, National Film and Television School
Synopsis: In a desperate struggle against his ballooning ego, Bill battles in vain to re-woo Deb with his below-par outdoor skills and, quite frankly, shocking behavior, until their last-ditch camping trip takes a very sinister turn.
Qualifying Win: Riverrun International Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Conversations with a Whale
Germany
Director: Anna Samo
Produced By: Tom Bergmann
Synopsis: In this love letter to artists, their art and its audience: One filmmaker is confronted with rejection after rejection until, at last, a beautiful fig tree bears sweet fruits.
Qualifying Win: Woodstock Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Crush
U.K.
Directors: MegaComputeur (Camille Jalabert, Corentin Yvergniaux & Oscar Malet)
Produced By: Passion Pictures, Val Thorens
Synopsis: On the verge of crushing two old cable cars, a nostalgic scrap dealer delves into his memories and imagines the life they once shared.
Qualified by exhibition.

Darwin’s Notebook
Switzerland
Director: Georges Schwizgebel
Produced By: Radio Télévision Suisse, Studio GDS
Synopsis: The return of three Anglicized native people to their county, or the beginning of a meeting with the modern world that will destroy them.
Qualifying Win: Hiroshima Animation Season – Grand Prix

Do Not Feed the Pigeons
U.K.
Director: Antonin Niclass
Produced By: National Film and Television School, Jordi Morera
Synopsis: It is 2 a.m. in a sad bus station. A group of tired, lonely travelers are waiting for the last bus. Suddenly, in this cold and depressing place, the pigeons — as masters of the place — manage to attract their attention and create harmony.
Qualifying Win: BAFTA – Short Animation

Donkey (Tangki)
Australia
Directors: Jonathan Daw & Tjunkaya Tapaya
Produced By: Karin Riederer, Michelle Young
Synopsis: Three Anangu women of different generations tell the story of how donkeys came to be valuable friends and helpers in the desert communities in the APY lands of northern South Australia.
Qualifying Win: Sydney Film Festival – Yoram Gross Award

Doom Cruise
Germany
Directors: Hannah Stragholz & Simon Steinhorst
Produced By: Studio Corallo
Synopsis: Passengers on a cruise ship are forced to come to terms with their inevitable doom. The female captain looks for the right words, and a group of children wants to do something nice for an animal that has died.
Qualifying Wins: German Short Film Award – Animated Film, Vienna Shorts – Jury Prize: Animation

Dreamer
Bulgaria
Director: Vladimir Todorov
Produced By: Chouchkov Brothers
Synopsis: Planet Earth is a deserted island in an ocean of darkness and silence. Stranded on it, the sole survivor of an apocalyptic disaster, is a child, desperately trying to get back to civilization.
Qualified by exhibition.

Fall of the Ibis King
Ireland
Director: Josh O’Caoimh & Mikai Geronimo
Produced By: The National Film School – IADT
Synopsis: The antagonist of a strange opera becomes increasingly unsettled, following the unlikely return of the former lead actor.
Qualifying Wins: Animation Dingle – Best Irish Professional Short, Rhode Island International Film Festival – Best Short Animation

Fish Out of Water (Sudan Çıkmış Balık)
Turkey
Director: F. Nur Özkaya
Produced By: COMD; project advisor Maria Brzozowska
Synopsis: Through the short’s main character, Osto, we see the society responsible for a “misfit’s” internal and external conflicts, and the lost individual himself.
Qualifying Win: Izmir International Short Film Festival – Golden Cat for Animation

The Flying Sailor
Canada
Director: Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby
Produced By: David Christensen, NFB
Synopsis: Two ships collide in a harbor, an explosion shatters a city, and a sailor is blasted skyward. With ears ringing, blood pulsing and guts heaving, he soars high above the mayhem and towards the great unknown. Inspired by true events.
Qualifying by exhibition.

The Fourth Wall
Iran
Director: Mahboobeh Kalaee
Produced By: Mahboobeh Kalaee, DEFC
Synopsis: Home and family, relationships, desires, wishes and everything are wrapped up in a kitchen. There, a boy with a stutter is alone with his vivid imagination.
Qualifying Win: Ann Arbor Film Festival – Chris Frayne Award

The Garbage Man (O Homem do Lixo)
Portugal
Director: Laura Gonçalves
Produced By: Rodrigo Areia, Bando à Parte; BAP Animation Studio
Synopsis: In this animated documentary based on family interviews conducted by the filmmaker, Gonçalves explores memories of her uncle Manuel Botão, who worked as a garbage man in France for 30 years, having emigrated due to the Portuguese Colonial War. Memories shared over a family lunch on a hot summer day interweave to tell the story of a man who lived a hard life through humor and fantasy.
Qualifying Win: Animafest Zagreb – Grand Prix

Granny’s Sexual Life
Slovenia / France
Directors: Urška Djukić & Émilie Pigeard
Produced By: Studio Virc, Ikki Films, Ciclic Animation (residency)
Synopsis: Four old women reflect on their youth and how different the relationships between men and women were back then, merging into the single voice of grandmother Vera, who shares her story in detail. This reflection on the intimate life and status of Slovenian women in the first half of the 20th century is based on Milena Miklavcic’s book Don’t Play with Fire, Ass and Snakes.
Qualifying Wins: Tampere Film Festival – International Grand Prix, Go Short – Best European Short Animation

 

I Knew Superman
U.S.
Director & Producer: Dana Crypto
Synopsis: The real heroes of this world are the ones we often forget about. Based on a true story, this 2D-animated short carries a message about family and a story about an American college student named Otto that we lost and should never be forgotten.
Qualified by exhibition.

I’m Here
Poland
Director: Julia Orlik
Produced By: Łódź Film School, supervised by Mariusz Wilczyński, Joanna Jasińska-Koronkiewicz
Synopsis: An elderly man looks after his paralyzed wife. Despite his own health problems, he’s doing his best to relieve her suffering, which is getting worse day by day. His daughter helps him, trying to juggle her mother’s care with her hospital job and family life. Everyone has a different view on how to properly care for the sick, sparking arguments.
Qualifying Win: Slamdance – Jury Award for Animated Short

I’m Late
France / Japan
Director: Sawako Kabuki
Produced By: Miyu Productions, New Deer
Synopsis: Interviewing a variety of people of all different ages and genders about menstruation, pregancy scares and more, Kabuki animates a kaleidoscopic conversation about sex, life, parenthood and society in general.
Qualifying Win: Guanajuato International Film Festival – Best Short Animation

I'm Late
I’m Late

Ice Merchants
Portugal / U.K. / France
Director: João Gonzalez
Produced By: Bruno Caetano, COLA Animation; Michaël Proença, Wildstream; João Gonzalez, Royal College of Art
Synopsis: Every day, a father and his son jump with a parachute from their vertiginous cold house, attached to a cliff, to go to the village on the ground, far away where they sell the ice they produce daily.
Qualifying Wins: Curtas Vila do Conde – Best Portuguese Short, Guadalajara International Film Festival – Rigo Mora Award for Best Int’l Animated Short, Melbourne International Film Festival – Best Animation

Impossible Figures and Other Stories I
Poland / Canada
Director: Marta Pajek
Produced By: Grzegorz Waclawek, Piotr Szczepanowicz, Animoon; Maral Mohammadia, NFB
Synopsis: After an explosion, a swarm of objects and figures scatters. In the aftermath, only a few souls remain. Wandering deserted city streets, a tired but stoic elderly woman recalls what was and what could have been. The final film (and first part) of Pajek’s award-winning trilogy.
Qualifying Win: Dok Leipzig – Golden Dove for Animation

It’s Nice in Here
Netherlands
Director: Robert-Jonathan Koeyers
Produced By: Richard Valk, Valk Productions
Synopsis: A fragmented portrait of a moment seen through the subjective memories of a young Black girl, Imani, and a rookie police officer, David, who both have different recollections of the same fateful moment that will alter their lives forever.
Qualified by exhibition.

Kintsugi
U.S.
Director: Cleto Acosta-McKillop
Produced By: Sugar Animation Studios
Synopsis: Inspired by the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, the dialog-free film centers on a simple, traditional good luck cat whose ramen restaurant is threatened when a flashy new eatery and its neon-lit cat move in next door.
Qualified by exhibition.

Kintsugi
Kintsugi

Laika & Nemo
Germany
Director: Jan Gadermann, Sebastian Gadow (co-director)
Produced By: Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg
Synopsis: Nemo looks different. Nobody else wears a diving suit and such a huge helmet. But then he meets Laika, an astronaut.
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award for Animation (Silver)

Leopoldo from the Bar
Spain
Director: Diego Porral
Produced By: Joaquín Garralda
Synopsis: Leopoldo, an old man from Madrid, has been going to the same bar every day for the last 12 years. When the bar closes, his loneliness returns in the form of Mauricio, an anthropomorphic pigeon with verbal diarrhea who won’t shut up until Leopoldo accepts his fate.
Qualifying Win: Animayo – Best Animated Short Film in Spanish

Life’s a Bitch
Russia
Director: Varvara Yakovleva
Produced By: School-Studio Shar
Synopsis: One day in the life of a person whose home was the bench of a railway platform.
Qualifying Win: Edmonton International Film Festival – Animated Short Film Award

A Long Protracted Scene of an Accident (En lång utdragen olyckshändelse)
Sweden
Director: Lisa Rydberg, Lars Henrik Andersson
Produced By: Lars Henrik Andersson
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Henrik’s parents find the same morbid pleasure in visiting accident sites. But the threat is not only coming from the outside in Henrik’s world. His father is absent and his alcoholic mother is becoming increasingly pessimistic and depressed.
Qualifying Win: Uppsala International Short Film Festival – Best Swedish Short

A Long Protracted Scene of an Accident
A Long Protracted Scene of an Accident

Loop
Spain / Argentina
Director: Pablo Polledri
Produced By: UniKo, Maniac Planet, Iván Miñambres
Synopsis: In this society, each human being repeats the same action over and over again. In this society, each human being repeats the same action over and over again. In this society, each human being repeats the same action over and over again.
Qualifying Win: In the Palace – Best Animation (International)

Love, Dad
Czech Republic / Slovakia
Director: Diana Cam Van Nguyen
Produced By: Karolína Davidová, 13ka; Tomáš Šimon, FAMU; Jakub Viktorín, nutprodukcia
Synopsis: A short film about ties and gaps between a child and a parent. The director rediscovers how her connection with her father fell apart. Dad used to write her letters from prison — 15 years later, she finally answers them in an attempt to understand the break up of their family.
Qualifying Wins: AFI Fest – Grand Jury Award (Animation), Encounters – Grand Prix (Animation), Krakow Film Festival – Silver Dragon for Short Animated Film, Seattle International Film Festival – Best Short Animation

Love Is Just a Death Away
Czech Republic
Director: Bára Anna Stejskalová
Produced By: Bionaut, Vratislav Šlajer, Jakub Košťál
Synopsis: Sometimes, for someone, life starts after death. Like for a little parasite, who walks around an old landfill wearing the rotting corpse of a dead dog. Trapped in his unpalatable body, he tries to find love and friendship in this stop-motion horror-romance.
Qualifying Win: Leeds International Film Festival – World Animation Award

Luce and the Rock
Belgium / France / Netherlands
Director: Britt Raes
Produced By: Thuristar; Perrine Gauthier, La Cabane Prod.; Tünde Vollenbroek, Studio Pupil
Synopsis: Luce lives a happy life in a peaceful little village. One day a giant Rock Creature disturbs the quiet life in the village, destroying all the houses. The Rock might have more in common with Luce than she first thought…
Qualified by exhibition.

Meal on the Plate
U.S.
Director: Chenglin Xie
Produced By: Michelle Yu Du
Synopsis: You are what you eat. In a world where people start to look like the thing they eat the most of, you can take this quite literally. When a newcomer prefers different eating habits, the visible consequences turn the world upside down.
Qualified by exhibition.

Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics
Canada
Director: Terril Calder
Produced By: Jelena Popovic, NFB
Synopsis: Convinced she’s soiled and destined for Hell, a Métis baby receives teachings that fill her with strength and pride, and affirm a path towards healing in this stop-motion journey which dives into the contrasts between the colonizers’ Seven Deadly Sins and the Indegenous people’s Seven Sacred Teachings.
Qualifying by exhibition.

Mild Madness, Lasting Lunacy (Folie douce, folie dure)
France
Director: Marine Laclotte
Produced By: Christian Pfohl, Lardux Films
Synopsis: This walk in the daily lives of several psychiatric institutions introduces the viewer to extraordinary people and their private realities.
Qualifying Win: César Award for Best Animated Short Film

Miro Wine
New Zealand
Director: Bree Greally, Lily Martin-Babin
Produced By: Auckland University of Technology
Synopsis: This stop-motion-styled CGI short centers on a grumpy kererū and an affectionate pīwakawaka who slowly form an unexpected bond.
Qualifying Win: Show Me Shorts – Best Film

Mistral (Maestrale)
Italy
Director: Nico Bonomolo
Produced By: Salvo Ficarra, Valentino Picone, Attilio de Razza
Synopsis: A man goes to work and sees a boat for sale. He dreams about leaving his life behind. He sets off, the dream is replaced by memories and the mistral wind forces an emergency docking. A woman, another story, a new beginning?
Qualifying Win: David Di Donatello Award for Best Short

The Monkey
Spain / Portugal
Directors: Lorenzo Degl’ Innocenti & Xosé Zapata
Produced By: Sardinha em Lata, Lightbox Animation Studios, Xosé Zapata
Synopsis: In 1588, a shipwrecked member of the Spanish Armada sent by Felipe II from Lisbon to conquer England is captured on a beach in Ireland. He is tried, found guilty and hanged until his death. The problem is that the prisoner is a monkey.
Qualifying Win: Goya Award for Best Animated Short

More Than I Want to Remember
U.S.
Director: Amy Bench
Produced By: Amy Bench, Carolyn Merriman
Synopsis: One night at her home in southeastern Congo, 14-year-old Mugeni awakes to the sounds of bombs. As her family scatters to the surrounding forests to save themselves, Mugeni finds herself completely alone. She then sets out on a remarkable solo journey across the globe.
Qualifying Wins: Tribeca Film Festival – Best Animated Short, DeadCenter Film Festival – Best Short Animation

Mr. Spam Gets a New Hat
U.K.
Director: William Joyce
Produced By: Shelley Smith, exec producer David Prescott, DNEG; Howdybot Studios
Synopsis: A man with a head full of dreams is beaten down, literally, by his job in a factory. Then, he meets the Woman in the Polka Dot Dress, who brings meaning, love and dreams back to his life.
Qualifying Wins: Cleveland International Film Festival – Best Animated Short, LA Shorts Fest – Best Animation

My Parent, Neal
U.S.
Director: Hannah Saidiner
Synopsis: Parent and daughter, Neal and Hannah, discuss Neal’s gender transition that began at age 62. The film tells the story of the evolution of their relationship and Neal’s personal milestones through domestic spaces, intimate objects and a shared birthday.
Qualifying Win: Athens International Film + Video Festival – Best Animation

My Year of Dicks
U.S.
Director: Sara Gunnarsdóttir
Produced By: Jeanette Jeanenne, Cat’s Pajamas, Wonder Killer
Synopsis: Imaginative 15-year-old Pam is stubbornly determined to lose her virginity, despite the slim pickings for partners on the outskirts of Houston in the early ’90s. Thankfully she’s not alone on her search for “the one,” thanks to her best friends. Based on Pamela Ribon’s memoir.
Qualified by exhibition.

New Moon
France
Director: Jérémie Balais, Jeff Le Bars & Raúl Domingo
Produced By: Edith Productions, animation by Gibbons Studio
Synopsis: An imaginative surrealist journey of young Jay Jay and his mother Edie as their inner city dreams are illuminated by a summer night’s new moon over a backyard in West Philadelphia, accompanied by the magic of Aretha Franklin on the radio.
Qualified by exhibition.

Night of the Living Dread
U.K.
Director: Ida Melum
Produced By: Danielle Goff, National Film and Television School
Synopsis: When a power cut ruins Ruby’s bedtime routine, she finds herself haunted by some unwanted guests. The only way for Ruby to get a peaceful night of sleep is to confront her visitors.
Qualifying Win: Atlanta Film Festival – Best Animated Short

The Ocean Duck
U.S.
Director: Huda Razzak, co-director My Anh Ngo
Produced By: Huda Razzak, SCAD
Synopsis: Based on a poem by Rumi, the short centers on a woman who visits her ailing grandmother in a hospital during a flood, bringing back fond memories of the past — spilling over into fantastical visions in the present.
Qualifying Win: New York International Children’s Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Once There Was a Sea…
Poland / Slovakia
Director: Joanna Kozuch
Produced By: Peter Badač, BFILM; Joanna Wendorff, Anima-Pol; plackartnyj; TVP; EC1-Lodz, RTVS
Synopsis: This animated documentary about the drying Aral Sea captures the reflections of the last residents of Mo’ynoq, Uzbekistan, on the city’s once thriving fishing industry, and their dreams of the great water’s return.
Qualifying Win: Anifilm – Main Prize (International)

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It
Australia
Director: Lachlan Pendragon
Produced By: Donna Hamilton
Synopsis: A mysterious talking ostrich helps an office worker in need uncover the flaws in his stop motion universe.
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award for Animation (Gold), Melbourne International Film Festival – Best Australian Short Film

Other Half
U.K.
Director: Lina Kalcheva
Produced By: Michelle Brøndum, National Film and Television School
Synopsis: As an Individual Being in a world populated by Merged Couples, Ren goes on a quest to find love in the hopes of becoming complete.
Qualifying Win: Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia – Best Animated Short

Passenger (Pasajero)
Argentina
Director: Juan Pablo Zaramella
Produced By: Sol Rulloni
Synopsis: A journey through the conflictive relationship between a man, his social environment and codes.
Qualifying Win: Chilemonos – Best Latin American Animation Short Film

Penglai
Country: U.S.
Director: Momo Wang
Produced By: Illumination
Synopsis: A young fisherman, dissatisfied with his life, embarks on a quest to find the mythological island of Penglai. After he is shipwrecked in a storm, he is rescued by a mysterious woman who seems to have otherworldly powers.
Qualified by screening.

Penglai
Penglai

Prisoner Outside
Germany
Director: Igor Medvedev
Produced By: Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg
Synopsis: A prisoner starts to lose his grip on reality. Without the influence of the outside world, his imagination and the real world start to merge. Over time, he learns to control his surroundings and sees the opportunity to escape with the help of his newly found powers.
Qualifying Win: Animayo – Grand Jury Prize

Red Shoes
Czech Republic
Director: Anna Podskalská
Produced By: Alexandra Hroncová, FAMU
Synopsis: A story of desire, which turns into obsession, based on European folk tales. The village dance has begun and Róza hasn’t been invited to dance. Suddenly, an unknown stranger appears, inviting Róza to dance, giving her a pair of red shoes.
Qualifying Win: Austin Film Festival – Animated Short Jury Award

Reflect
U.S.
Director: Hillary Bradfield
Produced By: Walt Disney Animation Studios; Nick Russell, Christina Marie Cunanan, Ava Moss
Synopsis: A ballet dancer battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channeling her inner strength, grace and power.
Qualifying by exhibition.

Reflect
Reflect

Roberto

Spain

Director: Carmen Córdoba González
Produced By: Carmen Córdoba González
Synopsis: Fifteen years have passed and Roberto is still in love with his neighbor, who prefers to hide away, ashamed of her body. With his art and an old clothesline as the only ways of communication, Roberto has a plan to push his beloved to face her monsters at once.
Qualified by Exhibition.

Save Ralph
U.S.
Director: Spencer Susser
Produced By: Lisa Arianna, Jeff Vespa
Synopsis: Ralph, a bunny being interviewed for a documentary, goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab. Featuring a celebrity voice cast, the film was created for the Humane Society’s anti-animal testing campaign.
Qualifying Win: FlickerFest – Yoram Gross Award

The Seine’s Tears (Les Larmes de la Seine)
France
Directors: Yanis Belaid, Elliott Benard, Alice Letailleur, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Philippine Singer, Lisa Vicente
Produced By: Pôle 3D, Carlos de Carvalho
Synopsis: 17 October 1961, “Algerian workers” take to the streets to protest against the mandatory curfew imposed by the police prefecture.
Qualifying Wins: Student Academy Award for Animation (Bronze), SIGGRAPH Best in Show, Odense International Film Festival – Animation Grand Prix, Warsaw Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Sierra
Estonia
Director: Sander Joon
Produced By: Erik Heinsalu, BOP! Animation; Aurelia Aasa, AAA Creative
Synopsis: A father’s obsession with the rally turns the kid into a car tire. Loosely inspired by the director’s childhood, this black comedy takes us into the surreal car racing world, punctuated by stop-motion animation created by the director’s father in Soviet Estonia circa 1980.
Qualifying Wins: Palm Springs ShortFest – Best of the Festival Award, San Francisco International Film Festival – Golden Gate Award: Animated Short

Socrates’ Adventures in the Under Ground
La Odisea Espeleológica de Sócrates
Mexico
Director: Aria Covamonas
Produced By: Opuntia Stricta Cinematográfica
Synopsis: A Marxist-Leninist-Maoist revision of the Allegory of the Cave, filled with talking animals who shall be late and bourgeois queens who would like to see you without a head, exactly as Plato intended.
Qualifying Win: Morelia International Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Socrates' Adventures in the Under Ground
Socrates’ Adventures in the Under Ground

Song of the Flies III – Night (El Canto De Las Moscas III – Noche)
Colombia / Czech Rep. / Germany
Director: Ana María Vallejo
Produced By: Migala Films
Synopsis: The third act of a collaborative triptych, this experimental animated film translates the desolation caused by the violence of the Colombian armed conflict through the poetic voice of Maria Mercedes Carranza (1945-2003) and the audiovisual dialog between nine Colombian artists.
Qualifying Win: BogoShorts – Best Animation Short (National)

Soul Office
U.K.
Director: Ryan Loughran
Produced By: Fiona McLaughlin, Tom Getty, Grace Loughrey; Taunt; Northern Ireland Screen; BFI Network
Synopsis: In Northern Ireland, two enterprising young criminals bite the dust when an ATM robbery goes wrong. Undeterred by their untimely demise, they come back as ghosts to get the job done — albeit with a little more red tape than they’d imagined.
Qualifying Win: Galway Film Fleadh – James Horgan Award

Steakhouse
Slovenia / Germany / France
Director: Špela Čadež
Produced By: Tina Smrekar, Finta Studio; Fabian Driehorst, Fabian&Fred; RTV; Emmanuel-Alain Raynal, Miyu
Synopsis: The steak has been marinating for a few days now. The pan is heated. Franc’s stomach is rumbling. But Liza’s co-workers surprise her with a birthday party. Will she be home on time?
Qualifying Wins: Anima Grand Prix (International Short), Annecy International Animation Film Festival – Jury Award

Trona Pinnacles
France
Director: Mathilde Parquet
Produced By: Marion Lacôte, Christophe Camoirano, Girelle Production; Novanima
Synopsis: Nineteen-year-old Gabrielle finds herself stuck near Death Valley, between two parents who no longer speak to each other. They try to escape the tension until an unexpected event begins to unravel everything.
Qualifying Win: New Orleans Film Festival – Best Animated Short

Washing Machine (Pračka)
Czech Republic
Director: Alexandra Májová
Produced By: Alexandra Májová
Synopsis: “Wash and Love” — This humorous, playful parable of human relationships replaces the age-old battle of the sexes with the struggle of one man to solve his problems with a troublesome home appliance.
Qualifying Win: BendFilm Festival – Animated Short Jury Award

 

We Are Here
USA
Director: 
Doménica Castro, Constanza Castro
Produced By: Doménica Castro, Constanza Castro, 271 Films
Synopsis: Four young immigrants intimately reveal their hopes and dreams as they navigate a perilous system that defines their fate and freedom.
Qualifying Win: New Hampshire Film Festival Animated Shorts Jury Award

— Compiled by Lucy Abrajan, Tracey Hollingsworth, Mercedes Milligan & Benoit Berthe Siward

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Disclaimer: This list is subject to change and will be updated as we get new information. If your Oscar-qualified animated short is missing here, email the information to edit@animationmagazine.net to be added.

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