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Aspen Shortsfest Selects 22 Animated Shorts for Oscar-Qualifying Competition

Aspen Shortsfest 1
Clockwise from top left: The Shaman's Apprentice, Mum Is Pouring Rain, Anxious Body and Goodbye, Jerome!

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Aspen Shortsfest Selects 22 Animated Shorts for Oscar-Qualifying Competition

Aspen Film, the year-round film arts and education organization, today announced its program for the 31st Aspen Shortsfest, taking place in the picturesque Colorado town April 5-10. One of only four Oscar-qualifying festivals in the U.S. strictly dedicated to short films, Aspen Shortsfest is widely recognized as a premier short film festival and showcase of world cinema’s most remarkable emerging and established talents.

This year’s competition highlights notable filmmakers and talent, along with international prize-winners by filmmakers. The lineup of 77 films selected from nearly 3,000 submissions originating in 28 different countries includes 22 animated shorts (clost to 30%). Overall, the selection marks a gain for gender equity, with 41 films directed or co-directed by women (53%).

Buzzy and award-winning titles among the animated competitors include the Academy Award shortlisted The Shaman’s Apprentice by Cannes prizewinning director Zacharias Kunuk; Anxious Body, Yoriko Mizushiri’s meditation on touch; Psyop directors Marie Hyon and Marco Spier’s personal, ecological allegory Bottle Cap; Hugo de Faucompret’s kid’s POV on depression Mum Is Pouring Rain; the strange paradise of Gobelins student short Goodbye, Jerome!; Camrus Johnson’s new film She Dreams at Sunrise; the latest from Renee Zhan, Soft Animals; and the paper puppet Jim Jarmusch documentary Stranger Than Rotterdam with Sara Driver, which premiered at Sundance. Read on for the full list of animated shorts at Aspen.

Aspen Shortsfest

Clockwise from top left: Bottle Cap, Stranger than Rotterdam, She Dreams at Sunrise, Soft Animals

“We are delighted to be presenting another incredible roster of films from around the globe for this year’s Shortsfest,” says Aspen Film Executive + Artistic Director Susan Wrubel. “What a wonderful recharge after two virtual years, to be back in person at our festival home, the historic Wheeler Opera House. Once again,our Programming Team has assembled some of the most dynamic, innovative, and thought-provoking short films of the year to showcase for Aspen and valley-wide audiences.”

Shortsfest Director of Programming Jason Anderson added, “We’re thrilled to be celebrating Aspen Shortsfest’s 31st annual festival with another exciting showcase of incredible new work by filmmakers from every corner of the world. The 77 titles in this year’s program demonstrate the depth and diversity of film talent that we have the privilege of introducing to our audience. Moreover, we’re astounded by the strength and resilience these directors have shown in the face of all the recent challenges and are so excited to be able to present their films in person.”

Shortsfest award winners will receive cash prizes of $1,250 or $2,500 in select categories. The jury for 2022 includes award-winning producers Mimi Polk Gitlin (Thelma and Louise), former NFB Animation head Michael Fukushima (Affairs of the Art) and Valerie Steinberg (Karmalink). Industry special guests include four industry notables: Opal Hope Bennett (producer, POV), Sarah Lash (Senior Director of Acquisitions, Condé Nast Entertainment), Meghan Oretsky (Senior Curator, Vimeo) and Casey Sunderland, (Media Finance Agent, Creative Artists Agency).

Find the complete film competition selection and ticketing information at

Aspen Shortsfest

Clockwise from top left: Boobs, In Nature, Aeronaut and A Brief History of Us

Animated films selected for Aspen Shortsfest 2022:

  • Aeronaut – Directed by Leon Golterman (Netherlands)
  • L’Amour en Plan – Directed by Claire Sichez (France)
  • Anxious Body – Directed by Yoriko Mizushiri (Japan/France)
  • Boobs – Directed by Marie Valade (Canada)
  • A Brief History of Us – Directed by Etgar Keret (Poland)
  • Bottle Cap – Directed by Marie Hyon, Marco Spier (US)
  • A Cartoon of a Sleeping Cat – Directed by Randall Scott Christopher (US)
  • Cat and Bird – Directed by Franka Sachse (Germany)
  • Cat and Moth – Directed by India Barnardo (Canada/UK)
  • Charlotte – Directed by Zach Dorn (US)
  • Chilly & Milly – Directed by William David Caballero (US)
  • Footsteps on the Wind – Directed by Maya Sanbar (UK/Brazil/US)
  • Freedom Swimmer – Directed by Olivia Martin-McGuire (France/Australia)
  • Goodbye, Jerome! – Directed by Gabrielle Selnet, Adam Sillard, Chloé Farr (France)
  • In Nature – Directed by Marcel Barelli (Switzerland)
  • Mum Is Pouring Rain – Directed by Hugo de Faucompret (France)
  • My Grandmother Is an Egg – Directed by Wu-Ching Chang (UK/Taiwan)
  • She Dreams at Sunrise – Directed by Camrus Johnson (US)
  • Sierra – Directed by Sander Joon (Estonia)
  • Smile – Directed by Jonas Forsman (Sweden)
  • Soft Animals – Directed by Renee Zhan (UK/US)
  • Stranger than Rotterdam with Sara Driver – Directed by Lewie Kloster, Noah Kloster (US)



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