The five Oscar nominees for best animated short film were: ‘Daughter’, directed by Daria Kashcheeva; ‘Hair Love’, directed by Matthew A. Cherry; ‘Kitbull’, directed by Rosana Sullivan; ‘Mémorable’, directed by Bruno Collet; and ‘Sister’, directed by Siqi Song but the statuette was taken home by Matthew Cherry for ‘Hair Love’.
This year’s nominated filmmakers are a distinct and varied group: Siqi Song is a CalArts student from China; Daria Kascheeva, a FAMU student from the Czech Republic; Rosana Sullivan, a Latino filmmaker working at Pixar; Matthew A. Cherry, an African-American from Chicago and former NFL player; and Bruno Collet, a veteran filmmaker from France. Without a doubt, this award is a reference for the world of animation; it puts the focus on new studios, directors and filmmakers, in addition to reaffirming the talent of great studios and artists.
These are the short films that have competed for the 2020 Oscars.
Written and directed by Daria Kashcheeva
The 15-minute short film tells the story of a woman who assimilates her childhood experiences while her hospitalized father lies on the verge of death.
The original idea was written as part of the FAMU admission procedure and forgotten for two years before Kashcheeva returned to it when she made her thesis project using her favorite technique: stop-motion. “I like to move and touch things, to be dirty; and I think stop-motion is for me,” she shares.
Daughter is noted for his handheld camera movements and his fast pace that are unusual in stop-motion. Kashcheeva says she came up with the idea while watching an action movie, doesn’t remember the title, and began studying film styles to find a way to apply them to stop-motion.
Written and directed by Matthew A. Cherry, produced by Karen Rupert Toliver
Born through Kickstarter, the short film became former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry’s first experiment in animation. Hair Love, a 7-minute short film about an African-American father trying to help his daughter do her hair, set a Kickstarter record for animation by exceeding its goal of $75,000 and raising over $300,000.
Launched last spring by Sony Pictures Animation, Hair Love was animated by Six Point Harness in Los Angeles and Mercury Filmworks in Ottawa.
Written and directed by Rosana Sullivan, produced by Kathryn Hendrickson
Kitbull evolved from Pixar artist Rosana Sullivan’s simple desire to control stress by drawing a kitten that acts like a real cat. The film tells the story of a stray kitten who happily searches for food and lives on the city streets until he becomes friends with a pit bull in the same yard. But when the kitten is thrown back into the rainy yard after being seriously injured in a dog fight, the kitten helps him escape and eventually finds a loving family that cares for both of them.
Written and directed by Bruno Collet, produced by Jean-François Le Corre
“Unlike traditional cartoons or computer drawing, I find that puppets have a real presence,” says Bruno Collet, writer and director of his short stop-motion film, Mémorable.
And the depth is evident in Mémorable , in which an elderly artist succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease and his world is transformed and changed before his eyes into shapes shaped by the art he loves. The short took approximately nine months to make and uses uniquely styled puppets that evoke the works of art of Vincent Van Gogh, Alberto Giacometti and Edward Hopper
Written and directed by Siqi Song
You can watch the full short film on Sister’s website: https://songsiqi.com/sister-ampas
With a duration of 8 minutes, Sister presents a man who remembers his childhood in China in the 90s, playing and making fun of a younger sister who was never born because her parents had to abort the pregnancy under the only child policy. The film was released last summer in Annecy and has won the Anima – Brussels Animation Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Austin Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival and has been nominated for awards at festivals such as Santa Barbara and Sundance.