a commentary

So let's get back to business shall we?

Academy! Academy! Academy! It does not matter how many repetitions you can make from the word. But i can only say that it is COMING! So with a cup of coffee and a jar of oatmeal cookies (dig into mine if you don't have anything to eat) let's look at the five nominees for BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED). Are you excited as hell? You better be!

Let's jump right in to number...

THIS WAY UP - Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes




I'm not really into Tim Burton type but this short film is hilarious, I am greatly fascinated how it ironically combines the dread of the cemetery and the humor of laying the dead. It has never been this fun and whimsical. In Smith and Foulkes films, i find something beautifully grim and dark. There is this auteuristic atmosphere quite recognizable in their shorts. In their The Boy who didn't Stop, Look, and Listen, the figures look like mannequin dolls representing an image of a child, which is quite odd to some extent, but effective in a way to establish a connection to it's intended audience.


40th Bolzano ShortFilmFestival, 2008
No Words: Mention

11th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival + Animated Dreams, Sleepwalkers, Just Film, 2008
Best Humour

6th London Short Film Festival, 2009
Comedy Award

PRESTO - Doug Sweetland




A Pixar animated film, and the only Pixar who made it to the nominated list, about a magician and his rabbit and their hilarious battle of wits on a carrot. I love this film. It's a Disney, and a Doug Sweetland film! This is Doug's first time to direct an animated film, he is a veteran animator of Pixar Animation Studios who brought us Toy Story (1995), A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), Boundin' (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006).

AWARDS: None (is this really necessary?)

OKTAPODI - Emud Mokhberi and Thierry Marchand




Love between octopuses is not much of a common thing which is why this short animated film is so luring and interesting. I do not want to exaggerate my words to describe how funny the film is, but i really have to, forgive me. I want to shout with a gushing mouth: GOSH! I LAVET! I LOVE OCTOPUSES! which is kind of weird albeit the presence of my sleeping roommate and the stillness of the dorm on a Monday afternoon. How affectionate those octopuses 'octopusize' my fascination to octopuses is another story. It's so hilarious and definitely a good time to spend a three-minute or so of your time. I just love it!


12th Hiroshima International Animation Festival, 2008
Special International Jury Prize

Anim'est International Animation Festival, 2008
Special Mention for Student Film

LAVATORY - LOVESTORY - Konstantin Bronzit



The film won my heart. Hands down for the Russian animator, Konstantin Bronzit. It is a passionate story of a lavatory attendant who was feeling lonely when an admirer left a bunch of flowers by her tip jar. It is about love. I might not have been pleased with sentimentality on live-action feautures, but on the animated level, it's inevitable to give in. I like it when Bronzit highlights the flowers in colored form, a dash of expressionism which i find so poetic. It is a beautiful short film.


14th Krok: International Animated Film Festival, 2007
Diploma - 5 to 10 minutes

Aspen Shortsfest, 2008
Animated Eye Award

12th Hiroshima International Animation Festival, 2008
Special Prize

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, 2008
Grand Prize

17th St Louis International Film Festival, 2008
Best Animated Short Film

Silver Feather for Auditoire

La Maison en Petits Cubes
(House of Small Cubes)
- Kunio Kato




It's beautiful. It's rendered using watercolor on paper as medium. Kunio Kato's first nomination for Oscars but this is just an understatement of Kato's brilliance. He's method of animation is elusive. I cannot think of any poetic animator as him. In his Fantasy Story(2003), viewable in Youtube, I was amazed by how he manage to transform animation into something substantial to the level of art. According to its Academy Profile, "in a world gradually flooding with water, an old man adapts to changing circumstances and looks back on his life." I pick this because of it's depth and poetic language, and like other Kato's animated shorts, it tempts me to reconstruct my own interpretation of animation. I do have in mind the eclecticism of animated films, but animators like Kato, or on a feature level, Miyaki, want to establish a more legitimate position of animation on the rank of film perceptible for theoretical and semiotic interpretation than most other film animators.

Awards: (from Short Film Central Profile)

4th AnimaBasauri: Basauri-Bizkaia International Animation Festival, 2008
Best Short Film - Jury Prize - Karratu Section

32nd Annecy International Animation Film Festival, 2008
Junior Jury Award
The Annecy Cristal

18th Message to Man International Film Festival, 2008
Best Animated Film

16th Anima Mundi, 2008
Best Script - Jury Award

12th Hiroshima International Animation Festival, 2008
Hiroshima Prize
Audience Prize

12th LA Shorts Fest, 2008
Best Animation

2nd International Animation Festival ANIMANIMA, 2008
Grand Prize
Special Jury Distinction for Best Directing

32nd Cinanima: International Animated Film Festival, 2008
Grand Prize
Onda Curta Prize
Alves Costa Prize

Golden Feather for Auditoire

WEB LINKS and Additional comments:

Oscar's List of Nominees for Animated Shorts

Kunio Kato's Website - He is an observable watercolor artist. I admire his homepage picture.

House of the Small Cubes Short Film Central Profile - The film won numerous awards for animation in international festivals and critics circle.

Lavatory Love Story Short Film Central Profile - The film was made possible by Melnitsa Animation Studio, produced Alexander Boyarsky and Sergey Selyakov.

This Way Up Short Film Central Profile - It was screened last January 15 to January 25 on Sundance Film Festival 2009

Oktapodi Short Film Central Profile


As a wrap up, I ask you, did you enjoy this new post? I hope you enjoyed it. I also included two distinguishable awards for my top 2 films: Silver Feather and Golden Feather. It's a mock for the Cannes' Golden Palm or Berlins' Silver and Golden Bear. Don't take it seriously, it's just for fun. If somebody asks what a Golden Feather is, it's a badge for my blog's recognition to remarkable and outstanding films.