The Oscar Qualifying List for Animated Shorts is Packed With FFL Filmmakers

Ah, awards season. The next few months will see a glut of ceremonies, from the PGA’s, SAG’s and DGA’s, to the Golden Globes, BAFTAS and of course the biggie at the end of the whole marathon – the Academy Awards. Whilst the autumn festival season has separated the runners and riders in the feature categories – with the likes of Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Sean Baker (The Florida Project), Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and more looking at potential success – the animated shorts race is soon to announce its longlist.


We’ve taken a look at the list of qualifying shorts, which is packed with some of the brightest filmmaking talent around – many of whom submitted their films on FFL. Read on for the list and for some shoutouts to the FFL filmmakers making waves in these very early days of the season. Good luck to all…

** = FFL filmmakers

**A Dad – Robert Cambrinus (Austria)
**A Love Story – Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara (UK)
**Among the Black Waves – Anna Budanova (Russia)
**An Island – Rory Byrne (Ireland)
**Call of Cuteness – Brenda Lien (Germany)


Call of Cuteness – Brenda Lien (Germany): Whilst we remain safe and sound, watching the highest grossing cat fail compilation – all that is kept out of sight gets back to us in this consumerist nightmare. On a global playground, without bounds, the cat’s body is devoured, exploited and controlled – its fear of pain being stronger than its longing for freedom. Objects are fetishized and subjects made into things that are quantifiable and ready for use. They are the natural resources of a luxury they will never know. We are here because you were there – and waste is dumped in the ocean. In the end, bodies reveal the causes and effects of power, pleasure and hate.

Cerulia – Sofía Carrillo (Mexico)
Coin Operated – Nicholas Arioli (USA)
**Confino – Nico Bonomolo (Italy)
Cop Dog – Bill Plympton (USA)
Cradle – Devon Manney (USA)
**Darrel – Marc Briones, Alan Carabantes (Spain)

Darrel – Marc Briones, Alan Carabantes (Spain): Exchange of glances in the metro. How many opportunities have you let slip? Darrel will do everything possible to not let escape this one…

Dear Basketball – Glen Keane (USA)
**E-delivery – Young Gul Cho (USA)
**Ein Aus Weg – Simon Steinhorst, Hannah Lotte Stragholz (Germany)

Ein Aus Weg – Simon Steinhorst, Hannah Lotte Stragholz (Germany): What is the sense of life? These and other questions will be answered by inmate Alex K. who is regularly going in and out of prison. He also gets judged by detective Bauschert who spends his life between chasing drug dealers and concerned citizens. Alex K. deals with his criminal life apart from stealing, love and drugs and also has quite a subtle and hopeful view of his future. “Loophole” is an animated documentary about life between prison and normality

Everything – David OReilly (USA)
Follow Your Heart – Rob O’Neill (USA)
Fox and The Whale – Robin Joseph (Canada)
**Garden Party – Florian Babikian, Vincent Bayoux, Victor Caire, Theophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Na (France)

Garden Party – Florian Babikian, Vincent Bayoux, Victor Caire, Theophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Na (France)
In a deserted rich house, a couple of amphibians explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts.

**Goose in High Heels – John Dilworth (USA)
Green Light – Seongmin Kim (South Korea)
**Gros Chagrin – Céline Devaux (France)
Heads Together – Job, Joris & Marieke (Netherlands)
**Hedgehog’s Home – Eva Cvijanović (Canada/Croatia)
Here’s the Plan – Fernanda Frick (Chile)
**Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) – Renee Zhan (USA)

Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) – Renee Zhan (USA): Flap flap flap flap flap. A large bird and a small boy cohabit in an unhappy relationship, trapped by four walls and a mutual codependence. The delicate balance of their relationship is cracked by an egg-citing new arrival.


Hot Dog Hands – Matt Reynolds (USA)
**Hugo Bumfeldt – Éva Katinka Bognár (Hungary)
**I Like Girls – Diane Obomsawin (Canada)
**Impossible Figures and Other Stories II – Marta Pajek (Poland)

Impossible Figures and Other Stories II – Marta Pajek (Poland): The protagonist of the film is a woman who trips and falls, while rushing around the house. She gets up, only to discover, that her home has unusual features – it is built from paradoxes, filled with illusions and covered with patterns.


In A Heartbeat – Beth David, Esteban Bravo (USA)
**In a Nutshell – Fabio Friedli (Switzerland)
Life Smartphone – Chenglin Xie (China)
**Lost Property Office – Daniel Agdag (Australia)
Lou – Dave Mullins (USA)
**Love – Réka Bucsi (Hungary/France)

Love – Réka Bucsi (Hungary/France): LOVE is a short film describing affection in 3 different chapters, through an impact on a distant solar system. Abstract haiku-like situations reveal the change in atmosphere on one planet, caused by the change of gravity and light. This pulsing planet makes the inhabitants become one with each other in various ways.


Mr. Madila – Rory Waudby-Tolley (UK)
**My Heart Attack by Sheldon Cohen (Canada)
**Negative Space – Ru Kuwahata, Max Porter (France)
**Nighthawk – Špela Čadež (Slovenia/Croatia)

Nighthawk – Špela Čadež (Slovenia/Croatia): A badger lies motionless on a local road. A police patrol approaches the body in the dark. They soon realise that the animal is not dead; the badger is dead drunk! When the police attempt to drag the creature off the road, he wakes up and things take a strange turn.


Nothing Happens – Michelle Kranot, Uri Kranot (Denmark/France)
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers (USA)
Once A Hero – Xia Li (USA/China)
Puppy – Genndy Tartakovsky (USA)
**Pussy – Renata Gasiorowska (Poland)
Railment – Shunsaku Hayashi (Japan)
Revolting Rhymes – Jan Lachauer, Jakob Schuh (Germany/UK)
**Song of a Toad – Kariem Saleh (Germany)

Song of a Toad – Kariem Saleh (Germany): Song of a Toad is the story about a stressed out human being who is carrying his unbeloved childhood right on his head – an old choleric toad. As a prisoner of his own grown-up situation, he tries to ignore this grumpy childhood talking from above, but one day he is confronted with something he almost forgot.


**Spring Jam – Ned Wenlock (New Zealand)
Strange Case – Zbigniew Czapla (Poland)
Taller de Corazones (The Heart Workshop) – León Fernandez.
The Burden – Niki Lindroth Von Bahr (Sweden)
The Absence of Eddy Table – Rune Spaans (Norway)
The Bald Future – Paul Cabon (France)
The History of Magic: Ensueno – José Luis González (USA)
The Itching – Dianne Bellino (USA)
**The Talk: True Stories About the Birds and the Bees – Alain Delannoy (Canada)

The Talk: True Stories About the Birds and the Bees – Alain Delannoy (Canada): There are things in life you never forget. One of them, like it or not, is “The Talk”. Using a mix of hand drawn images, photographs, computer generated images as well as stop frame animated toys and props, the memories of several individuals have been caringly recreated in order to best present the awkwardness of one of life’s strangest occurrences.


The Tesla World Light – Matthew Rankin (Canada)
Threads – Torill Kove (Canada/Norway)
**Ugly – Nikita Diakur (Germany)
Weeds by Kevin Hudson USA)
Wednesday with Goddard – Nicolas Ménard (UK)
**Whatever the Weather – Remo Scherrer (Switzerland)
**Wicked Girl – Ayce Kartal (France)

Wicked Girl – Ayce Kartal (France): S., 8 years old, is a little Turkish girl with an overflowing imagination. She is keen on nature and animals. As she is in hospital, she is looking back on happy holidays in her grandparents’ village, but dark and terrifying memories emerge and, little by little, begin to make sense.


World of Tomorrow, Episode 2 – Don Hertzfeldt (USA)
Xylophone – Jennifer Levonian (USA)

Want to join them?

Film festivals accepting animated shorts, which currently open for submissions on FFL include:


Read more FilmFestivalLife stories:

:: VR Rising: Meet the FFL filmmakers screening at Adelaide Film Festival

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Andrew Wilkin

Andrew Wilkin is the Client and Community Support Coordinator at FFL. His editorial background has involved working at unlike. His film experience has included a position at moviepilot. Reach him at