As with the beginning of every new year (granted no so new now we’re well into February), the international press has been filled with the latest updates on the film industry’s award season. The nominations for the Critics Choice awards, Golden Globes, SAG awards, BAFTA, and finally the Academy Awards (aka Oscars) have been hotly discussed, by both press and public. William Hill’s website has a dedicated section for the Oscars and Vogue has been offering us almost instant images of the fashions of the film stars. This year’s talk has been dominated by British champion Les Miserables, Spielberg’s much anticipated epic Lincoln, Ben Affleck’s second-time in the director’s chair Argo, and Bradley Cooper’s distinct character change from the Hangover series in Silver Linings Playbook, to name a few. The awards season is not just something for the film industry, it’s become a global phenomenon; public support and involvement is immense.
As this month’s BAFTAs showed, film stars from all over braved the delights of Britain’s freezing cold weather and rain and were rewarded with the perennially British and now-bearded Stephen Fry. The awards ceremony as always celebrated the brilliance of British film; we finally saw the Bond franchise picking up its first and much-deserved major award (Best British Film) in 50 years as well as the award for Best Original Film Music and Les Miserables, the champion of British film this award season went home with 4 BAFTAs (Best Supporting Actress, Hair and Makeup, Production Design, Sound) having been nominated for 9 overall.
However whilst the focus on such titans of the British film industry will be considerable at the culminating point of the award season – the Oscars. A little-known short British animated film, ‘Head Over Heels’ is gaining ground in the Press.
‘Head Over Heels’ is impressive for a number of reasons, firstly it’s a short British film that’s been nominated for an Oscar, no mean feat given the international competition and prestige that denotes an Oscar nomination. However perhaps what is most astounding about the film is the fact that it was created as the final year film of 11 students from NFTS – the prestigious National Film and Television School located in Beaconsfield. NFTS is well-known in the film industry as a leading centre for film education, and although you may not have heard of it, you’d recognize names of it’s alumni. In the case of animation, one of it’s most celebrated alumni is Nick Park, the man behind the much-loved ‘Wallace and Gromit.‘
‘Head Over Heels‘ tells the story of a married coupled who have grown apart both literally and metaphorically; the husband (Walter) lives on the floor whilst his estranged wife (Madge) lives on the ceiling. Walter’s attempts to re-connect with his wife lead to interesting consequences and the film plays with the notion of their lives been turned up side down and of quite literally falling ‘head over heels’ in love.
It is beautifully done and deserves the recognition it has gained so far. It won Best Student Film at the Annie Awards (animation’s answer to the Oscars) earlier this month and is up against Disney’s short ‘Paperman’ that has proved very popular over social media sites like Facebook. As well as ‘Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”, ‘Adam and Dog’ and ‘Fresh Guacamole.’ Take a look at the Oscar page if you want to know more behind the interesting sounding titles!
So fingers crossed for February 24th, and listen out for the lesser-known category of Short Film (Animated)!
If you want to watch the 10mins film, it’s up on Youtube for a limited time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHs3Pe32b8Q&feature=youtu.be