2016 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Winner of 44 awards, including: Grand Prize, Sundance Film Festival
Best Animated Short, SXSW / Annie Award, Best Animated Short / Golden Zagreb, Animafest Zagreb / Grand Jury Animated Short Award, AFI Fest / Best Film, Fantoche / Audience Award & Special Jury Distinction, Annecy Animation Festival /
Grand Prix, Anima / Grand Prix, Anifilm Trebon / Best Script & Audience Award, Ottawa Animation Festival / Grand Prix for Short Film, Utopiales Festival of Science Fiction / Visionary Award, Nashville Film Festival / Scientific Merit Award, Imagine Science Film Festival / Best Short Film, BAFICI / Best Animation, Milano Film Festival / Best Short Film, Philadelphia Film Festival / Best Animated Short, Dallas Film Festival
AN INTRODUCTION FROM DIRECTOR DON HERTZFELDT
in early 2014 i began work on a secret project called “world of tomorrow.” it was originally just an exercise to teach myself the basics of digital animation. after nearly 20 years of working with paper, pencils, 35mm film, rocks, and fire, i’d never actually drawn anything on a tablet before. animating this way at first seemed a bit like trying to read a children’s book in a foreign language: it all seemed vaguely familiar somehow, but was sort of weirdly scrambled. i’m also pretty sure i bent the software to do things it was in no way designed for. but the writing and visuals soon began to grow, as they always do, and i made two new rules for myself: get through shots as fast as you can, and do everything differently.
carrying on with this spirit, for the first time i’m releasing a new movie online: “world of tomorrow” will continue to play theaters everywhere like the 35mm stuff did, but going digital now means we can bring it to everyone else as soon as possible.
as an independent, those theatrical tours and dvd sales directly funded the next films. and the prevailing gloomy attitude towards selling shorts online seems to be 1) huh? but there’s no market for shorts online you fool, and 2) people will steal it anyway. but if we continue to believe there’s no market for shorts without ever trying to do anything to challenge it, nothing will change. and i still believe people simply want to support the things they’d like to see more of… because hey, without all of you over the years, i surely would’ve had to give up and gotten a real job back in the 90s ❤
finally, i’d like to introduce my AMAZING two leading ladies. the wonderful julia pott (animator & illustrator herself), appears in her first acting role and proves there is a viable side career for her should she ever tire of endlessly drawing little animals wearing scarves (sorry julia, you know i love ya).
julia performs opposite my niece, winona, who was four years old when i recorded her. i learned very quickly that you cannot direct a four year old. you cannot even expect a four year old to recite lines back at you. you just sort of have to let the four year old happen. so i recorded her as we drew pictures and talked about the world. we live very far apart, i only see her about once a year, so we only had time for a few sessions. and with these recordings – her candid thoughts, reactions, and questions – i was able to create the character you are about to meet..
Don Hertzfeldt is a two-time Oscar nominee whose animated films include “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” “The Meaning of Life,” “Billy’s Balloon,” and “Rejected.” His work has played around the world, receiving over 250 awards, and recently made a special guest appearance on “The Simpsons.” Seven of his films have screened in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, where he is the only filmmaker to have won the overall Grand Jury Prize for Short Film twice.
His first feature film, “It’s Such a Beautiful Day,” was named by several critics as one of the Top Ten Films of 2012. In 2014, Time Out New York named it #16 on their list of the “100 Best Animated Movies Ever Made.”
“One of 2015’s best films… exceedingly brilliant… Bursting with creativity and hilarity… a profoundly affecting piece of work that demands to be seen.” – Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
“Might be one of the most satisfying short films since Chris Marker’s 1962 landmark, La Jetée… almost certain to be the highlight of this year’s Sundance, full stop… Wise, hilarious, and formally daring…” – David Ehrlich, Time Out New York
“A masterpiece… one of the best sci-fi movies in years.” – Chris Plante, The Verge
“Astonishing… Utterly fantastic…” – Noel Murray, The Dissolve
“Dazzling… spectacular… a marvel… a must-watch… [Hertzfeldt is] one of the most exciting voices in film.” – Michael Cusumano, The Film Experience
“Delightful… There are more big ideas packed into this 16 minute film than most major studios’ entire catalog of science fiction.” – Dan Schindel, Movie Mezzanine