An NFB film in the running for the Oscars | Surprise for the directors of Le Matelot volant

The film The flying sailor (The Flying Sailor) by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), is nominated for an Oscar in the category of best animated short. The announcement of the selections in the 23 categories of the 95e Oscar party was made early Tuesday morning.

Posted at 10:48 a.m.

“We are totally stunned right now. » Amanda Forbis, co-director of the short film The flying sailordoes not immediately manage to better express the emotion that inhabits him on this Tuesday morning, when the two Canadian animators have just learned the big news: their film is in the running for the Oscars, in the category of best short animated footage.

With a smile in her voice, Wendy Tilby tells us that she didn’t have high hopes for the announcement. “We already knew we were on the short list. [de 15 films], that we had a good chance, she said. But it was far from a certainty! »

It’s not yet 7 a.m. in Park City, Utah, when The Press discusses with the two artists, present in the city on the occasion of the Sundance film festival, for which The flying sailor has been selected. They will also present their film to the public of the festival later in the day, in Salt Lake City.


Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

The announcement of the finalists at the 95e Oscar night kicked off at 6:30 a.m. (Salt Lake City time) and Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis say they had a hard time getting to sleep the night before. The adrenaline compensates for the lack of rest and the two collaborators from Calgary exude good humor, punctuating our interview with great laughs. Their complicity is also heard, they who have worked together for more than 20 years.

The flying sailor (The Flying Sailor, in the original version) is the third film they have co-signed. And all of their collaborations have earned them an Oscar nomination.

The eight-minute short is inspired by the incredible true story of a man blown through the air for two kilometers following the 1917 explosion at a Halifax port. It was the most powerful non-nuclear accidental explosion the world has seen and more than 1500 people were killed.

“The question we asked ourselves while creating the film was, ‘How was it to be him during this journey in the air?'” says Amanda Forbis. And we had a hard time articulating why we wanted to tell this story, but we kept coming back to it over and over again. In fact, it’s a film about a near-death experience, about that moment when everything changes. »

Produced by the NFB

This poetic story, without dialogue, imbued with long moments of slow motion, of a return to the past, was created with the support of the NFB. The Montreal-based Canadian content producer and distributor is a leader in animated film and has been a “critical support” for all of Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby’s films. All the post-production flying sailor was made in Montreal, in the studios of the NFB.

“They gave us all kinds of support [pour ce film]both emotionally and financially,” says Amanda Forbis.


The flying sailor

The flying sailor is therefore worth a third appearance at the Oscars for the tandem (after a selection in 1999 for When the Day Breaks and another in 2011, with A wild life). Wendy Tilby had also received this honor in 1991, as an individual, for her film Strings. The animators would like to share this new recognition with their producer, David Christensen, and with sound designer Luigi Allemano, Montrealer by adoption and teacher at Concordia University, whose work inhabits the film from start to finish. .

Wendy Tilby talks about making this short film as one of the most enjoyable processes of her career. The filmmakers let themselves be carried away by the visual poetry that the story inspired in them, letting the content of the film take shape over the course of the creation.

Their work has earned them numerous awards and distinctions since it was brought to light. In addition to this nomination at the Oscars and their selection at Sundance, the film by the duo of animators has been praised at TIFF After Dark, the Los Angeles Animation Festival and the New York Short Film Festival, among others.

The flying sailor is broadcast on the NFB website.

The 95e Oscar night will be held on March 12 at the Dolby Theater at the Ovation Center in Hollywood.

The article is in French

Tags: NFB film running Oscars Surprise directors Matelot volant

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