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Filmmakers respond to Best Animated Short 2017 Oscar nominations

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With today’s 2017 Oscar nomination announcements still very much a fresh affair, several of the filmmakers nominated for Best Animated Short Film have this afternoon shared their responses to the news.

Patrick Osborne’s Pearl stands out as being the first immersive 360 short to receive such a nomination, having been created for Google ATAP’s groundbreaking Google Spotlight Stories series. With his previous short Feast (produced during his time at Disney to accompany the feature Big Hero 6) winning the Oscar in 2015, Pearl represents the most significant technological leap forward the Spotlight Stories series has seen to date, boasting the most shots, sets and characters of any other entry, as well as interactive sound and custom lighting.

I continue to feel proud of the world wide team of artists and coders that made Pearl a reality.  Thanks especially to the pirates of Google ATAP for rallying behind our little labor of love and thanks to the Academy for this morning’s recognition!

— Patrick Osborne, Pearl director

We are incredibly honored by this morning’s nomination of our Pearl. Pearl is dedicated for all parents and those that create beauty and possibility out of everyday life.  Thanks to the Academy and the heart and spirit behind Google Spotlight Stories and our global crew that made it possible.

— David Eisenmann, Pearl producer

Hear more about the making of Pearl in our recent podcast interviews with director Patrick Osborne and music composers Pollen Music Group.

Receiving his first Oscar nomination is Theodore Ushev, originally from Bulgaria and presently based in Montreal where he frequently collaborates with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Produced by Marc Betrand and executive producer Julie Roy with the participation of ARTE France, Blind Vaysha‘s nomination marks the 74th for the NFB, a film organisation that has received more Academy Award nominations than any other based outside of Hollywood. Ushev’s prior work includes his acclaimed Twentieth Century Trilogy Tower Bawher, Drux Flux and Gloria Victoria as well as the Genie Award-winning animated documentary Lipsett Diaries.

It’s really fantastic to get this nomination. I’m over the moon! But this honour is not just for me: I want to thank my collaborators, especially my producer, Marc Bertrand, and the author, Georgi Gospodinov. So the entire NFB will be over the moon, at a big party on the moon with Vaysha!

-Theodore Ushev, Blind Vaysha director

The NFB is recognized as a leading producer of animation art, pushing the envelope in form and content, and great storytelling. Today’s nomination is a wonderful endorsement of our hard work. Congratulations to Theodore, Marc, Julie and everyone who’s contributed to Blind Vaysha―it’s an exciting day for the NFB and for Canada.

-Claude Joli-Coeur, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson

Learn more about Blind Vaysha in our interview with director Theodore Ushev.

One of the biggest festival and online hits of last year was Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj’s emotionally-charged CG short Borrowed Time (Quorum Films), whose nomination will come as a surprise to very few. In a joint statement (along with producer Amanda Deering) the directors, whose prior work experience includes the Disney/Pixar features WALL•E, Toy Story 3, Brave and Inside Out had the following to say:

We set out 6 years ago to make a very different film from Borrowed Time. We stumbled and failed and picked each other up along the way, with the goal of simply making something that would find its audience. What started as a group of friends making a film for the love of it has turned out to be the journey of a lifetime. Never was the prospect of attending the Oscars in our minds. But here we are. We are so deeply grateful for this nomination!

Don’t forget to take part in our 2017 Oscar polls and see if your predictions are correct when the 89th Academy Awards are held on February 26th, 2017 at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

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