Canadian shorts make the cut in 2022 Oscar short list

Canadian shorts represented four of the 15 projects shortlisted in the animation category, with an additional two making the live action short category.

Six Canadian short films are in the running for Oscar gold next year following the reveal of the short list for the 94th Academy Awards.

Zacharias Kunuk’s Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice (Kingulliit Productions, Taqqut Productions; pictured) made the short list for Best Animated Short Film, as well as three coproductions from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB): Mauvaises herbes (Bad Seeds), directed by Claude Cloutier and produced with Montreal’s L’Unité centrale; Affairs of the Art, directed by Joanna Quinn and Les Mills and produced with the U.K.’s Beryl Productions International; and Comme un fleuve (Flowing Home), directed by Sandra Desmazières and produced with France’s Les Films de l’Arlequin.

A total of 15 titles made the Best Animated Film short list for ’22, with Canadian projects accounting for four overall.

Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman’s Apprentice has won a number of awards in the lead-up to the short list reveal, including FIPRESCI Award at the Annecy International Animation Festival, the IMDbPro Best Canadian Short Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and additional wins at the Ottawa Animation Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Among the NFB copro shorts, Mauvaises herbes (Bad Seeds) won Best Animated Short at the 2021 New York City Short Film Festival, plus an additional five awards, and Affairs of the Art won the Best Animation award when it world premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, plus another 22 awards.

An additional two Canadian projects made the short list for Best Live Action Short Film: Marianne Farley’s Frimas, produced by Charlotte Beaudoin-Poisson and Sophie Ricard-Harvey of Ô Films with Uzo Aduba (In Treatment) and Meynon Media’s Dan DeNicola attached as executive producers, and Annie St-Pierre’s Les grandes claques (Like the Ones I Used to Know), produced by Fanny Drew and Sarah Mannering of Colonelle Films. Fifteen shorts made the overall list.

Additionally, Canadian director Ben Proudfoot, who was nominated for an Oscar last year for A Concerto is a Conversation, made the short list for the U.S. short doc The Queen of Basketball.

Canada’s Oscar selection for Best International Feature Film, Ivan Grbovic’s Drunken Birds (Les Oiseaux ivres), did not make the short list, nor did Igor Drljaca’s Canada/Bosnia copro The White Fortress, which was named Bosnia’s official Oscar pick.

Quebecois director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which he wrote, directed and produced, made the short list for Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and the sound category. Toronto’s Leslie Norville is also a producer on The First Wave, shortlisted in the Best Documentary Feature category. The Toronto-shot feature Nightmare Alley, directed by Guillermo del Toro and produced by Toronto’s J. Miles Dale, also made the short list for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, while the Alberta-shot Ghostbusters: Afterlife, directed by Montreal-born Jason Reitman and produced by dad Ivan Reitman, made the cut for Best Visual Effects.

The nominations for the 94th Academy Awards will be announced Feb. 8, 2022, and the televised ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles is scheduled to take place on March 27.