February 25, 2013

Shorts 'Paperman' and 'Curfew' Win Oscars, 'Inocente' is 1st Academy Award-Winning Kickstarter Film

Another year, another Oscars, but this one was very special to the indie community for one major reason: the documentary short Inocente made history as the first Kickstarter film to win an Academy Award. Hollywood might have just started noticing the crowdfunding platform recently, but independent films have benefitted greatly over the last few years, and Kickstarter has been involved in a number of festival and award-winning films -- including a few Oscar nods. Also, if you missed it previously, embedded below is Paperman, which took home the best animated short film Academy Award, and the trailer for Curfew, shot on the RED ONE, which received the live action short film award.

Here is Paperman, directed by John Kahrs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqmh1GoZjnw

The trailer for Curfew, directed by Shawn Christensen, which was the live action short winner (the film is available to watch on iTunes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLAVg17luqc

Here is the trailer for Inocente, directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, the short documentary winner (also available to watch on iTunes):

http://vimeo.com/21989601

And the Kickstarter launch video:

The film itself had already been completed before the campaign, but they used the Kickstarter funds for the rest of the costs associated with the film, including promotional materials, as well as this:

Finally, we are also writing free, downloadable companion curricula for teachers and creating an arts workshop template for community organizations that will incorporate the arts into core subjects and explore the themes and issues of the film to make it more attractive to the educational market.

I'm sure Inocente won't be the last Kickstarter film nominated for an Oscar (other nominees include Kings Point, Buzkashi Boys, Incident in New BaghdadSun Come Up, and The Barber of Birmingham), and it likely won't be the last to win the award, either. Kickstarter will continue being an important platform for low-budget and independent filmmakers, and it's clear based on previous successes that the site has produced quite a bit of quality work.

On a related note, a particular piece of the writing from the show mentioned that all of the shorts filmmakers would be the "future of film" or could be "future A-listers." There were quite a few angry tweets and comments about the remark, and it's quite understandable, because shorts are absolutely their own art form. I think it's important to recognize that a movie is not a lesser piece of art or less professional just because it lacks a 2 hour running time, and a filmmaker is still a filmmaker regardless of movie length.

It was also the first year that all Academy members received screeners of every short film, whereas in the past they had to attend the screenings in person. While this ensured they had to see the films to vote, sending screeners to all members means more of these great films will likely be seen by more people. Short films have certainly seen a resurgence in recent years thanks to the democratization of filmmaking and the power of the internet, so it's nice to see the Academy attempting to get them in the hands of as many voters as possible.

What do you guys think?

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12 Comments

Short films are an art unto themselves but they're not in the same league as features, shorts don't make money but features make hundreds of millions, sure there are plenty of shorts better than a lot of big budget movies out there but with features the stakes are way higher and you can't take the same risks.

Award winning short makers are the future of film and the kinds of voices that develop in the short industry are important for the future of features.

February 25, 2013

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Jason Robbins

Of course the stakes are higher but they basically said, "Maybe some day you'll play with the big boys." If they were all students that would be one thing, but I just don't feel like the shorts people are given the respect they deserve as filmmakers. That's the part I don't like, the patting on the head from Hollywood folks.

February 25, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I understand what you're saying as a filmmaker. But I wonder if the comment was more aimed at the audience. I remember friends of mine who just watch the oscars for fun always ignoring the short form awards. So when they made the comments about "future A Listers" it seemed also like they were talking to the average tv audience at home saying "listen up! These people are as important as the stars... And have just as much talent if not more. They could be the next big thing." Just a thought. I could be totally off base though.

February 25, 2013

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Demetrius

I agree with you, Demetrius. I understand why Joe might think they're saying "maybe some day you’ll play with the big boys" but the tone & delivery of that intro (namely citing Spielberg and Scorsese) didn't seem cynical and to me it came across more as "pay attention, these guys are to be respected and followed." Funny that the first thing I thought of when those lines were delivered was this site and the recent backlash towards Koo shooting a short before his feature.

February 25, 2013

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Heh. If you REALLY want to patronized, try being in animation.

February 26, 2013

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Keith

All "stakes" and "money" aside. We're talking about story here and there are some short films that would not work as features. Yet, those stories still need to be told. There are some short films that have impacted me way more than most features. Yes, many use the short film avenue to get to features, but others tell the story in the length in needs to be. Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine have made features in the past, they most definitely did not take a step down the ladder to make "Inocente."

February 25, 2013

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At reduser.net they've linked a webinar about the CC workflow of 'Curfew'. It's very interesting: https://vimeo.com/35973323

February 25, 2013

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That's pretty awesome, thanks for sharing that.

February 25, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

You're welcome. And spot on in your comment about filmmakers doing shorts.

February 25, 2013

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I'm really happy to hear about Inocente and the film's Oscar win. I think it's especially relevant given the nature of crowdfunding because in a way, the public helped the film win by their donation. In other words, instead of keeping the money gates shut, Hollywood (or perhaps the Academy) considered a film that came from the desires of a larger group of people and the money of many people who may not have thought about movies otherwise, among the large-budget, big-name films. Kinda cool.

February 25, 2013

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DIYFilmSchool.net

I was actually able to screen the film and meet Inocenté a few months ago. She is a very shy and quiet person. During the Q&A, you could tell she was nervous, but what a courageous person!

If you ask her about her bunnies, she really starts to open up. :)

February 27, 2013

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Jared Caldwell

フルラ 並行輸入

August 12, 2013

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