With the 89th Academy Awards almost upon us, the focus continues to be on names like Damian Chazelle, Barry Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan. But a few other lesser known directors are also vying for a coveted Oscar statue, a prize that will almost certainly launch a feature career. Alongside the Short Film Palme d’Or, the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short hails as the top gong for any emerging director.
New Machine editors briefly profile the nominated films and filmmakers, including previous awards and notable tidbits.
FILMMAKER: Selim Azzazi
NOMINATED SHORT: Ennemis intérieurs
SYNOPSIS: During the 90s, Algerian terrorism reaches France. Two men. Two identities. One battle.
- First time director but is an experienced sound designer and editor
- Grew up in a tough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris
- Won the Best Live Action Short Film Award in 2017 at the Alcalá de Henares Short Film Festival with Ennemis intérieurs
- Won the European Short Film Award in 2016 at the Alcalá de Henares Short Film Festival with Ennemis intérieurs
- Won the Santa Lucia – International Competition Award in 2016 for Best Fiction Short Film at the BOGOSHORTS Bogota Short Film Festival with Ennemis intérieurs
- Won the Audience Award and the Youth Jury Award in 2016 at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival with Ennemis intérieurs
- Won the César Award for Best Sound in 2009 at the César Awards with Le concert
- Won the Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Foreign Language Film at the Motion Picture Sounds Editors in 2011 with Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot
- Won the Grand Prix of the City of Tetouan at the Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival in 2016 with with Ennemis intérieurs
- Won the Vienna Short Film Award at the VIS – Vienna Independent Shorts in 2016 with Ennemis intérieurs
FILMMAKER: Aske Bang
NOMINATED SHORT: Silent Nights
SYNOPSIS: A volunteer at a housing shelter falls in love with an illegal immigrant.
- Danish actor and director
- Wrote the film with his father about African immigrants who rummage through trash in Copenhagen at night collecting bottles to deposit for money
- Shot in the real slums of Copenhagen that is known to house illegal immigrants
- Won the Publikum Prisen and was nominated for the Shortlist Prisen in 2016 at the Ekko Shortlist Awards for The Stranger
- Won the Ekko Shortlist Award and was nominated for the Shortlist Prisen and the Publikum Prisen in 2014 at the Ekko Shortlist Awards for Ladyboy
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FILMMAKER: José Luis Montesinos
NOMINATED SHORT: The Runner
SYNOPSIS: Five years ago, the boss closed the company and fired 300 workers. The first day he goes jogging, he comes across one of them.
- José is a trained engineer as well as filmmaker
- Is a member of the European Film Academy
- Theme for the short was inspired by Spain’s unemployment crisis
- Nominated for the European Film Award in 2015 at the European Film Festival for The Runner
- Won the Gaudí Award for Best Short Film in 2015 at the Gaudí Awards for The Runner
- Won the Goya in 2016 for Best Short Film – Fiction at the Goya Awards for The Runner
- Won the José Maria Forqué Award for Best Short Film in 2016 at the José Maria Forqué Awards for The Runner
- Nominated for Best Short in 2010 at the Warsaw International Film Festival for La Historia de Siempre
- Nominate for Best Short in 2008 at the Warsaw International Film Festival for Hest
FILMMAKER: Kristóf Deák
NOMINATED SHORT:Mindenki (Sing)
SYNOPSIS: ‘Sing’ is a childhood drama with a lot of music, set in 1990s Budapest, Hungary. Inspired by a true story, it follows an award-winning school choir and the new girl in class who just might uncover the ugly secret behind their fame.
- Works as an editor as well as director
- He studied classical piano and has played in bands since he was 16
- Sing is inspired by a true story
- First Hungarian live action short in over fifty years to receive an Oscar nomination
- Won the Adult’s Jury Award at the Chicago International Children’s Festival in 2016 for Sing
- Won the Audience Award at the European Film Festival of Lille in 2016 for Sing
- Won the Audience Award at the Lanzarote International Film Festival in 2016 for Sing
- Won the International Jury Award at the Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People in 2016 for Sing
- Won the Best Short Film and the Grand Prix awards at the Short Film Festival & Asia in 2016 for Sing
- Won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (Kids) in 2016 for Sing
FILMMAKER: Timo von Gunten
NOMINATED SHORT: La femme et le TGV
SYNOPSIS: A touching story between a lonely woman and a TGV train driver.
- The short stars the legendary model, actress and singer Jane Birkin
- The script is based on a newspaper article that Timo read
- In addition to filmmaking, Timo plays the cello
- It was announced earlier this year that Timo will direct his first feature Eiffel, an action/heist film
- Nominated for the Swiss Film Prize at the Swiss Film Prize in 2017 for Le femme et le TGV
Follow Timo on Twitter.