89th Annual Academy Award Qualifying Animated Short Films
Directors: Rafa Cano Méndez, Daniel Martínez Lara
Produced by: La Fiesta
Qualifying Win: Goya Award for Best Animated Short Film
Synopsis: In this busy modern world, Copi is a father who tries to guide his son Paste. But … what is the correct path?
Director: Anete Melece
Produced by: Saski von Virág
Qualifying Win: Encounters Festival Animated Grand Prix
Synopsis: Anton’s head is bursting with thoughts — The gardener is seething with anger: who has trampled her flower beds? In the park, Anton is looking for someone to play chess with. For someone who plays a better game than his dachshund.
Aria for a Cow
Director: Dan Lund
Produced by: Dan Lund, Connie Nartonis Thompson, Amos Sussigan
Qualifying Win: Cleveland Int’l Film Festival Best Animated Short
Synopsis: When a callow young farmer shows himself to be completely uninterested in the sensitive art of milking, a bovine diva (along with her singing and dancing back up bulls) belts out a tune demanding to be respected for more than just dairy products.
Ayny – My Second Eye
Director: Ahmad Saleh
Produced by: Stefan Gieren; Academy of Media Arts Cologne
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award for Foreign Animation – Gold Medal
Synopsis: After a cruel war renders them homeless, an anxious mother tries to keep her sons from danger. But the boys chase their dreams of playing the oud, collecting scrap metal to earn money and learning their mother’s fear had reasons.
The Ballad of Immortal Joe
Directors: Hector Herrera
Produced by: Pazit Cahlon; TOGETHER, Varipix
Qualifying Win: Canadian Screen Award Best Animated Short
Synopsis: The third “chapter” of Beastly Bards, written with a nod to traditional cowboy songs and the northern ballads of Robert W. Service. Voiced by Kenneth Welsh and scored by The Sadies, Immortal Joe puts a haunted twist on a tragically romantic Western.
Director: Theodore Ushev
Produced by: Marc Bertrand; NFB
Qualifying Win: Annecy Jury Award for Short Film
Synopsis: Vaysha is not like other little girls. Her left eye only sees the past and her right, only the future. Blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she remains trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities. People call her “Blind Vaysha.”
Directors: Lou Hamou-Lhadj and Andrew Coats
Produced by: Amanda Deering Jones
Qualifying Wins: Nashville Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Animated Shorts; SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Best in Show
Synopsis: A weathered sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.
Director/Producer: Michael I. Schiller
Qualifying Win: Cinequest Film Festival Best Animated Short Film
Synopsis: Every year, thousands of teens are placed in solitary confinement cells in juvenile halls, jails and prisons nationwide. This story is based on an investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting and was created using real audio from an interview with Ismael ‘Izzy’ Nazario about his time in Rikers solitary confinement.
The Bridge over the Water (Die Brücke über den Fluss)
Director: Jadwiga Kowalska
Produced by: Jadwiga Kowalska; Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
Qualifying Win: Locarno Golden Leopard for Best Short Film (National)
Synopsis: A man on a bridge, separated from the love of his life. Wanting to be with her one last time, he decides to go and seek her in the hereafter.
Directors: Alexander Lahl, Volker Schlecht
Produced by: Die Kulturingenieure
Qualifying Win: Stuttgart Int’l Festival of Animated Film Grand Prix
Synopsis: Gabriele Stötzer from Erfurt and Birgit Willschütz from Berlin recall their prison terms at the women’s prison of Hoheneck in the former GDR for this animated documentary. Extracts of original interview recordings are interpreted in simple, minimally animated monochrome images.
Director: Ago Panini
Produced by: Dude Film Srl & EDI in collaboration with Akira Film with the support of Film Commission Lombardia
Qualifying Win: Seattle Int’l Film Festival Animation Grand Jury Prize
Synopsis: Carlo has a secret at home in his closet that no one suspects. By day, Carlo works in an office where he has just fallen in love with his colleague, Anita. At night, Carlo spends most of his time alone. In his secret closet is a miniature floating world where everyone looks like him, but his new love threatens this planet’s existence.
The Cats (Los Gatos)
Director: Alejandro Rios
Produced by: Edith Sieck
Qualifying Win: Guadalajara Int’l Film Festival Rigo Mora Award for Best Mexican Animated Short Film
Synopsis: A stray cat encounters an old man who invites him into his home, comforting him with milk and caresses. But love is a complex feeling, and there are secrets hidden behind the door of every warm home.
Director: Kangmin Kim
Produced by: Studio zazac
Qualifying Win: Aspen Shortsfest Best Animated Film
Synopsis: In the summer of 1992, a boy named Dujung goes to a farm in the suburbs with his parents. While his parents believe the expensive and rare specialty from the farm will strengthen their son, Dujung suffers side effects.
Directors: Nina Gantz
Produced by: Emilie Jouffroy; National Film and Television School
Qualifying Wins: BAFTA for British Short Animation; RiverRun Int’l Film Festival Best Animated Short; Sundance Film Festival Short Film Jury Award – Animation
Synopsis: Edmond’s impulse to love and be close to others is strong — maybe too strong. As he stands by a lake contemplating his options, he reflects on his defining moments in search of the origin of his desires.
Director: Dahee Jeong
Produced by: Dahee Jong, Ron Dyens; Between the Pictures, Sacrebleu Prod.
Qualifying Win: Hiroshima Int’l Animation Festival Grand Prize
Synopsis: A meditation on being and loss as time flows on, reflected by the traces left behind in a room. The room has almost nothing but time.
Director: Phil Mulloy
Produced by: Spectre Films
Qualifying Win: Animafest Zagreb Grand Prix Best Short Film
Synopsis: After a tough week at the office, Richard and George like to play war games over the weekend to relax. A dispassionate atmosphere and minimalistic style belie the growing brutality of their pastime.
Director: Carter Boyce
Produced by: DePaul University
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award for Animation – Bronze Medal
Synopsis: A lonely figurine, traveling on a fixed track, tries to catch a red balloon. When the machine breaks down, the boy comes to life, and attempts to finish the cycle he was originally destined to be on forever.
Director/Producer: Peter Larsson
Qualifying Win: Nordisk Panorama Best Nordic Short Film
Synopsis: A group of lost bodies who wander through a forest towards an open field. A gathering with an unclear purpose takes place. The story comes alive through the stop-motion film’s texture and atmosphere rather than via traditional storytelling.
Directors: Alexa Lim Haas & Bernardo Britto
Produced by: Ben Cohen, Brett Potter, Lucas Leyva, Dennis Scholl
Qualifying Wins: Palm Springs ShortFest Best Animated Short; SXSW Animated Shorts Jury Award
Synopsis: An astronaut recalls a glove he lost in space and where it may have gone in this charming animated meditation on the spirit of human endeavor.
Grace Under Water
Director/Producer: Anthony Lawrence
Qualifying Win: Sydney Film Festival Yoram Gross Animation Award
Synopsis: An unexpected challenge arises from the depths of a warm, dreamy afternoon at the local pool. Shadows from the past bear down on the present as Lou is forced to face the truth about herself and the stubborn, enigmatic stepdaughter she is trying to love.
Director: Jan Saska
Produced by: Kamila Dohnalová; Studio FAMU
Qualifying Win: Guanajuato Int’l Film Festival Best Short Animation
Synopsis: A black comedy about death with a happy ending. A splendid chain of unlikely encounters: Hunters, a tractor driver, a disco boy, and a corpse.
The Head Vanishes (Une tête disparaît)
Director: Franck Dion
Produced by: Richard Van Den Boom, Julie Roy; PAPY3D Prod., NFB
Qualifying Win: Annecy Cristal for Short Film
Synopsis: Jacqueline isn’t quite in her right mind anymore, but she’s determined to take the train to the seaside, as she does every summer. Only this year, she’s constantly being followed by some woman who claims to be her daughter, and the trip takes some unexpected, phantasmagorical turns.
He Who Has Two Souls (Celui Qui A Deux Âmes)
Director: Fabrice Luang-Vija
Produced by: Sophie Fallot; Fargo, Arte France
Qualifying Win: Flickerfest Yoram Gross Award for Best Int’l Animation
Synopsis: An Inuit man who excels at masculine and feminine tasks, being at once as beautiful as a woman and as handsome as a man, faces a difficult choice about whom to love.
I Like Girls (J’aime les filles)
Director: Diane Obomsawin
Produced by: NFB
Qualifying Win: Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short
Synopsis: Four women reveal the nitty-gritty about their first loves, sharing funny and intimate tales of one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression.
Director: Leo Matsuda
Produced by: Sean Lurie; Walt Disney Animation Studios
Qualifying Screening: Moana (Nov. 23)
Synopsis: Paul is a straight-laced everyman who constantly passes up new experiences — in a fight between his head and his heart, his head always wins. This film travels inside Paul’s body to see how this tug-o-war plays out.
Director: Dianne Bellino
Animated by: Adam Davies
Qualifying Win: Athens Int’l Film + Video Festival – Animation First Prize
Synopsis: A shy wolf attends a dance party thrown by a group of hip, freewheeling bunnies. Though the wolf longs to connect with the exotic strangers, anxiety overwhelms her, and she descends into obsessive itching.
The Lingerie Show
Director/Producer: Laura Harrison
Qualifying Win: Florida Film Festival Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Short
Synopsis: In this story about addiction, loss and starting over, a drug addict decides to throw a “lingerie show” (rather, a drug-fueled orgy) to seduce her bisexual boyfriend away from his sugar daddy, only for her love to OD.
Director: Simon Cartwright
Produced by: National Film and Television School
Qualifying Win: San Francisco Int’l Film Festival Golden Gate Award for Animated Short
Synopsis: Using puppets and animation, this darkly comic short tells the story of Glen, a man who attends a Primal Scream therapy class that causes him to release something deep within that knows no limits.
Directors: Bruno Chauffard & Glenn McCoy
Produced by: Dave Rosenbaum (prod. supervisor); Illumination Ent., Illumination Mac Guff
Qualifying Screening: Secret Life of Pets
Synopsis: Enamored with an as-seen-on-TV banana blender, The Minions set out to raise the needed $20 by mowing the lawn at an old folks’ home.
Director: Aggelos Papantoniou
Produced by: Mark Lycette; RMIT University
Qualifying Win: Melbourne Int’l Film Festival City of Melbourne Grand Prix
Synopsis: Nobody likes a crying baby on board a train, least of all the lady who makes the announcements.
Director: Marcus Armitage
Produced by: Royal College of Art
Qualifying Win: Slamdance Jury Award for Animation Short
Synopsis: Inherited opinions. Inherited isolation. A father’s judgmental character mixed with his son’s affection for him prove to be a toxic cocktail that tears away at a world of opportunity and experiences.
My Grandfather Was a Cherry Tree
Directors: Olga Poliektova & Tatiana Poliektova
Produced by: Pavel Smirnov; ContrArt with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Qualifying Win: New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival Jury Award Best Animated Short
Synopsis: Narrated by a young boy discussing his views on life and death, this is also a story about an unusual grandfather, who could hear the trees breathing and believed that a person isn’t dead if someone still loves them.
Director: Lieven Vanhove
Produced by: Sieber Marly
Qualifying Win: LA Shorts Fest Best Experimental Short
Synopsis: Once a man and woman lived together in a home with a lighthouse on the shore. Now a turbulent sea is tearing them them apart. Orville is stuck in the house on the cliff, and the rock surrounded by waves that holds the lighthouse where Imme clings to survival is starting to collapse.
Once upon a Line
Director: Alicja Jasina
Produced by: USC
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award for Animation – Gold Medal
Synopsis: A man leads a boring life until he falls in love. Things get out of control, but at the end the protagonist discovers that there are other ways of living and that the world is full of color and hope.
Director: Michael Hill
Produced by: Melanie Brunt; Feather Films, financed by Screen Australia
Qualifying Win: Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film
Synopsis: In a world where a tiny band of musicians follow everyone around, playing the soundtracks of their lives, Vernon’s crippling shyness makes his orchestra play out of tune. When he falls for his new neighbor, he and his bumbling band have a chance to strike a chord.
Director: Alan Barillaro
Produced by: Marc Sondheimer; Pixar Animation Studios
Qualifying Screening: Finding Dory
Synopsis: A baby sandpiper learning to hunt at the seashore gets caught in the incoming surf. Terrified of the water thereafter, she refuses to leave the nest, until she finds inspiration in the strategic digging of the hermit crabs.
The Resonance (Rezonans)
Director: Mateusz Sadowski
Qualifying Win: Ann Arbor Film Festival – Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film
Synopsis: A stop-motion film that splits footage into photographs, before reassembling them in a reflection on scientific theories about the structure of the world and an attempt to create an alternative reality.
Director: Ishan Shukla
Produced by: Sharad Varma
Qualifying Win: LA Shorts Fest Best Animated Short
Synopsis: In the city of Bag-heads, a senate member faces a tough choice between political career, brothels and love for a mysterious woman. A choice that will transform his life and the city in unimaginable ways.
Second to None
Director: Vincent Gallagher
Produced by: Damian Farrell
Qualifying Win: Galway Film Fleadh James Horgan Award for the Best Animation
Synopsis: Frederick Butterfield is tired of always being runner up. When he becomes the world’s second oldest person, he hatches a plan to claim first place. In this black comedy, second place just isn’t good enough.
Shell All (Un obus partout)
Director: Zaven Najjar
Produced by: Caïmans Prod. with the support of ARTE France and the CNC
Qualifying Win: Atlanta Film Festival Animated Short Jury Award
Synopsis: Set in 1982 Beirut, the film follows 20-year-old Gabriel as he and his friend Mokhtar attempt to cross a guarded bridge to reach his fiancee. The city is consumed with World Cup fever — but will the snipers be distracted by the game?
Director: Ned Wenlock
Produced by: Georgiana Plaister; Oneedo Studio
Qualifying Win: Show Me Shorts – Lightbox Best Film
Synopsis: A young stag, lacking impressive antlers, knows he needs to improvise sweet music — with the help of a record player and an impromptu chorus of birds — if he’s to have any chance during the mating season.
Sunday Lunch (Le repas dominical)
Director: Céline Devaux
Produced by: Ron Dyens; Sacrebleu Prod.
Qualifying Win: César Award for Best Animated Film (Short)
Synopsis: A young man observes his family members as they try to demonstrate that they are comfortable with his homosexuality. They ask him questions, but don’t listen to his answers; they give him advice but don’t follow it themselves; they fawn over him and smack him, but that’s normal — it’s Sunday lunch.
Director: Sofie Kampmark
Produced by: The Animation Workshop/VIA UC
Qualifying Win: Krakow Film Festival Silver Dragon – Animated Film
Synopsis: Haru returns home in denial after a tsunami, where he must learn to deal with his loss through an encounter with a magical sea Spirit.
Under Your Fingers (Sous tes doigts)
Director: Marie-Christine Courtès
Produced by: Jean-François Le Corre, Mathieu Courtois; Vivement Lundi!, Novanima Prod.
Qualifying Win: New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival Jury Award Best Animated Short
Synopsis: When her grandmother dies, a young woman performs dance and rituals to revive the story of the women in her family, from colonial Indochina to the transit camp where they were isolated. Through her memories, anger and traditional rituals, Emilie learns how to accept such a heritage.
Director: Juliette Viger
Produced by: The Animation Workshop
Qualifying Win: Odense Int’l Film Festival Animation Award
Synopsis: Sally, an introverted 15-year-old, lives in the city of New York, where her Wolf-Father is slipping more and more into wildness. Sally still remembers the man he used to be: a brilliant and talented jazz trumpeter. Where did her father go? And can he still be found somewhere within the Wolf?
Directors: Echo Wu, Kal Athannassov & John McDonald
Produced by: Ringling College of Art and Design
Qualifying Win: Student Academy Award for Animation – Silver Medal
Synopsis: Set in a world where wishes are granted by mythical beings that live under fountains, an apathetic wish granter is forced to go above ground to grant a wish of love.