The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its pre-selected list of the ten short films vying an Oscar nomination in 2018. Set to be whittled down to just five in time for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony taking place early next year, the list just goes to show you don't need an enormous budget or studio to make it big.
Following last year's winner, Pixar's Piper, the new selection features a number of films made either at film schools or independently. We don't envy the judges charged with saying no to any of these. Check out the finalists below:
Fox and the Whale
A curious little fox goes on the search for an elusive whale – with adorable consequences.
Robin Joseph (independent), 2016 (12 minutes) – Canada. More info here.
As the official synopsis reads: "In an abandoned mansion, a couple of amphibians explore their surroundings." Basically, it's The Wind in the Willows for a new generation.
Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon (MOPA), 2016 (7 minutes) – France. More info here.
In a Heartbeat
In a Heartbeat follows awkward kid Sherwin as he deals with his feelings for Jonathan, the most popular boy in school. Forced to hide his feelings and chase around his fleeing heart, Sherwin eventually finds out it's better to have everything out in the open. An LGBT love story that melted our icy cold hearts.
Esteban Bravo and Beth David (Ringling College of Art and Design), 2017 (4 minutes) – United States.
A film with a pertinent message about not letting our lives slip away by staring at our smartphones. A warning tale for the masses.
Chenglin Xie (China Central Academy of Fine Arts), 2015 (3 minutes) – China. More info here.
Lost Property Office
Ed, manager of a lost and found office, is just as lost as the objects he takes care of. But rather than let these precious items go to waste, Ed decides to offer them a second chance at life.
Daniel Agdag (8th in Line), 2017 (10 minutes) – Australia. More info here.
J.J. is the playground bully who takes pleasure in stealing and destroying his classmate's toys. Luckily, he crosses paths with Lou, a little creature from the lost and found box, who's ready to teach him a big life lesson.
Dave Mullins (Pixar), 2017 (6 minutes) – United States.
A re-telling of Kobe Bryant's poem of the same name, this short follows the life and career of the basketball giant.
Glen Kean (Glen Keane Productions), 2017 (6 minutes) – United States.
Constantly traveling for work, Sam's father is rarely at home but connects with his son by teaching him to pack a suitcase with as many objects as possible.
Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata (Ikki Films), 2017 (5 minutes 30) – France.
A terrific and surprising visual representation of classic tales written by Roald Dahl.
Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer (Magic Light Pictures), 2016 (2 x 28 minutes) – UK.
Returning to the US after losing both his arms, a young veteran has to overcome pain, prosthetics and memories of his life before the war in order to resume a normal life.
Devon Manney (South Carolina University), 2017 (14 minutes) – United States. More info here.