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  • Brandon MacMurray

10 Early Favourites for the 2024 Animated Shorts Oscar

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

There is just over 2 months of qualifying festivals left for short films and several frontrunners have emerged in the animated shorts race. You may be aware of the typical Pixar/Disney shorts that I am sure will be a player in awards season, like Elemental opener Carl's Date or Disneys attempt to pull at your nostalgia with Once Upon a Studio but here are ten others that could sneak onto the December 21st shortlist of 15.

1) Rosemary A.D. (After Dad), Directed by Ethan Barrett

To put it lightly Rosemary A.D. (After Dad) has been dominating the animated short awards this festival season. Most recently, it won its fourth qualifying award at Indy Shorts which is the highest total wins of any short, in any category this year. Darkly funny and drawn out in crayon, the father of the story ponders the thought: Would my daughter be better off without me?

2) Starling, Directed by Mitra Shahidi

Winner at Tribeca this year, Starling really stole the hearts of some of us here at Shortstick. With beautiful animation and a touching, emotional story, it would be no surprise to see this one on the shortlist come December 21st.

You can see our full review featured in our ShortSticks Tribeca review roundup here:

3) 27, Directed by Flóra Anna Buda

Synopsis: Alice turns 27 today, she still lives with her parents. During a trippy party on a rooftop and a drunken bike accident, she learns how to take responsibility.

This being the only short film on the list that I haven't seen, I cannot personally speak to its quality, but two of the worlds most prestigious festivals in Cannes and Annecy sure can. 27 recently won the Palme d'Or for Best Short FIlm and Annecy's biggest prize Cristal for a Short Film, which on paper could be enough of a resume to be considered for the shortlist of 15.

4) Pina, Directed by Jérémy Depuydt and Giuseppe Accardo

Pina is another short film that I highly suspect will make the shortlist. This French-speaking Brussels short won the Yoram Gross Award at Flickerfest and the National Grand Prize at Brussels Short Film Festival to qualify for this year's awards. Pina is a short with a very structured and engaging story that flawlessly blends bright animation together. Set in a 19th century Sicilian countryside village, the titular character Pina holds the power to regenerate the land her family and village live on. The land is constantly being plundered by the mafia, leading to an encounter that could change the country's fate forever. Pina has the feel of a fable or folktale that though unfamiliar feels like a story from your childhood.

Pina is currently available on canal+ here:

5) Epicenter, Directed by Hahm Hee-yoon

Epicenter won at Santa Barbara International Film Festival earlier this year and we were very impressed with the animation of it when we saw it at Short Shorts Film Festival.

Synopsis: In the midst of ordinary daily life, Bukhan Mountain starts growing and causes an earthquake. As the boundary between fantasy and reality falls apart little by little, someone takes note of the invisible world.

Read full review here:

6) Rest In Piece, Directed by Antoine Antabi

Qualified at Atlanta International Film Festival

Synopsis: Midyan decides to run away from his war-torn home. He packs his bag with objects that remind him of his loved ones and embarks on a journey into the unknown. Soon he is starving and resorts to eating the objects he has packed. The effects are monstrous yet they give him the strength to carry on through the scorching desert. Eventually, he arrives half-dead on the other shore of the sea and eats the most precious of his objects: a family portrait. This gives him the strength to finish his journey.

7) Teacups, Directed by Alec Green and Finbar Watson

Qualified at Sydney Film Festival

Teacups wows with its animation style, complementary colours, and a drawing style of solid sketches. Moments showing the cliff with the sea beneath it or Don in the ship during the war are gorgeously presented, while the colours and the animation point the viewer back to the film’s poignant message.

It thrives in its simplicity, a factor that makes it easy to connect emotionally. Its seven-minute runtime goes by quickly and concisely rewards the viewer with a remarkable untold story.

Synopsis: For almost half a century, Don Ritchie would approach people contemplating suicide at the edge of a cliff, 100ft from his home. Teacups explores Don’s (voiced by Hugo Weaving) surreal interactions with hundreds of suicidal individuals and his journey to reconcile the suicide of his best friend.

8) The Record, Directed by Jonathan Laskar

Qualified at Riverrun Film Festival

Synopsis: A traveller gives an antiques dealer a magic vinyl record: “It reads your mind and plays your lost memories”. Obsessed by this endless record, he listens to it again and again.

9) Amarradas, Directed by Carmen Córdoba González

Qualified at Animayo

Synopsis: Mother and Daughter are roped for life by an eternal bond that heals and hurts, and that is perpetuated when Daughter becomes a Mother.

10) The Bridge, Directed by Izumi Yoshida

The Bridge qualified at Short Shorts Film Festival this year, with one of the most affecting stories we have seen from an animated short this year.

Synopsis: A film inspired by the events of 1920 that brought two nations closer: Poland and Japan. Told from a 10-year-old boy’s perspective, it presents the story of orphans who lost their families and had to rush into manhood.

You can read our full review here:



The short end of the stick: The inferior part, the worse side of an unequal deal

When it comes to cinema and the Oscars it always feels like short films and getting the short end of the stick. Lack of coverage, lack of predictions from experts and an afterthought in the conversation. With this site we hope to change that, highlighting shorts that stick with you, predictions, and news on what is happening in the world of shorts. 

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