Congratulations to AFTRS alumnus Bradley Slabe (Master of Screen Arts, 2012), whose stop-motion short Lost & Found, co-directed by Andrew Goldsmith, has been shortlisted in the animated short film category for the 91st annual Academy Awards.
The dialogue-free film, which follows a knitted dinosaur who must unravel himself to save the love of his life, was written by Slabe and produced by Lucy J. Hayes.
The film has screened at a number of festivals around the world including Berlinale, where it made its premiere, as well as locally at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and CinefestOz.
In Australia, Lost & Found has already won a number of significant awards, including the AACTA Award for Best Animated Short; Short Film Production of the Year at the Screen Producers Australia Awards; and Best Animation and the Major Award at the AWGIE Awards. Internationally, the film is also currently in contention for the Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject.
Lost & Found was one of 81 films that originally qualified for the Best Animated Short category for next year’s Academy Awards, and the Short Films and Feature Animation branch members will now select nominees to be announced on January 22. The Oscars will be handed out on February 24 US time.
On been shortlisted, Goldsmith and Slabe tell IF: “It’s super exciting and completely surreal. To be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet at all. We didn’t expect our Annie Award nomination and we certainly didn’t expect this. The recognition that this little film is getting has completely exceeded our expectations. We’re just a tiny crew from Melbourne so to be considered amongst our industry heroes and other shorts we’ve adored, we are totally gobsmacked.”
The short is currently online, and the directors say the “emotional outpour” they have received since they uploaded it has been profoundly moving – they’ve also had a surge of requests from yarn enthusiasts asking how they can they crochet their own foxes and dinosaurs.
They praised the crew for helping to put the film together, noting stop-motion is hugely collaborative.
“The first step is putting together a crack team of dedicated and talented experts who all believe in the project and share the same goal. It’s been great to see all of our crew be recognised for their work by their respective guilds.
“Then there’s the animation part, which particularly in stop-motion, is a very slow laborious process that involves intensive planning, patience and perseverance. So we were lucky to have our prodigious animator, Samuel Lewis for three years, who took the utmost care and obsessive attention to detail with every, single, frame.”