There was a long line of hopefuls, who were eagerly awaiting the screening of the 2009 Oscar-nominated short films, in front of the Academy headquarters in Beverly Hills.
My colleague, Jason Korsner, and I walked into the reception and mingled with the lucky nominees. Unfortunately, the food was tasteless, but the company was cheerful and inspiring.
We met with the British directors, Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes, whose comedy ‘this way up’ is nominated in the short animation category. They talked about their journey into making this short, and how they are now courted by Hollywood. They had eight meeting today and more scheduled for tomorrow.
I also had an interesting chat with the German team, who created ‘Toyland’, about a German boy in World War Two Germany, who wanted to join his Jewish neighbours on a train journey, unaware of their horrific final destination. The Director proudly told me that they shot it for only 30,000 Euros! Well, regardless of the budget, the story felt like an Oscar-winner. I had no doubt it will win, even before we watched the shorts.
Unlike last year, where the short felts like short features, the shorts this year -thank God- are truly shorts. I was pleased that none of the animation shorts had any dialogue. And I really loved the Japanese short “The House of Small Bricks”. This one, I felt, has to win.
The Action shorts were no less impressive. I personally liked the German short “On the Line”, a tragic story about a department store security guard, who falls in love with a bookstore assistant. But, off course, the winner will be undoubtedly “Toyland”.
To learn about the Academy nominated shorts, please Jason’s UK screen report on http://www.ukscreen.com/article.htm?article_id=38840