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Oscar short-listed for Best Animated Short FIlm

2010 , Court Métrage , animation

un film de Joanna LURIE

The first Joanna’s film, after winning awards alll over the world, is now short-listed by the Oscar Academy for consideration to the Best Animated Short Film !!! We’re waiting now the vote of the members of the animation branch in the academy to decide the 4 or 5 nominees in this category...

Due to the rules of this contest, you can’t see the film here, but a trailer showing the marvellous charachters and universe of the film, and a mini-doc about Joanna and her film, telling how and why she did it !

PDF - 204.7 ko
english press kit

PDF - 18.3 ko
Biography / filmography

In the depths of a great forest clad in a great white mantle, curious little creatures discover how beautiful and fascinating and white snow is… as it whirls them giddily on their way to extraordinary encounters with the strange and wonderful. A nocturnal tale brimming with tenderness.

Where comes from this story ? What is your film ?
When I was a kid/ my parents read me lots of stories,/ coming of age stories, the classics, like Grimm’s and Anderson’s fairy tales,
Most of these stories take place in a forest/ and have kids who are all alone in the middle of the forest/ without their parents/ and they discover new things /I think I wanted to tell my own fairy tale.

Why winter ?
Winter, I don’t know where that come from, I don’t know why I wanted to set the story in a forest during the winter /I think that I just love snow and so I wanted to have fun playing with snow in my film
I think there’s a really different kind of feeling in winter, with a different kind of sound and atmosphere

And the trees ?
I grew up in a region called Les Landes/ and in Les Landes there are mainly pine forests, so I felt a special connection to this type of tree, the kind that’s tall and thin with branches just at the top and one day I came across some photos of the giant sequoias in Yosimite Park /or Muir woods /and I really fell in love with the trees in these forests, because they are like pine trees, but 100 times bigger and the feeling you get when you’re in these forests is almost like being surrounded by dinosaurs, the trees are so tall and the forest is so dense that you have no reference point and you don’t know where in the world you are
and so that was the inspiration for the characters’ language,

And the characters ?
I didn’t want their language to be recognizable by their voices or their accents, I didn’t want people to know what city or country they were from , I didn’t want these characters to seem like human beings
when they play in the snow, they don’t play like we do, with snowballs and snowmen, they eat the snow, they have their own games
Physically they aren’t like anything else either, they are probably most like trees, long and thin, but they don’t look like any particular animal
A very simple face can show a large range of expressions
with just two little pearl eyes and a gigantic mouth

What is all about ?
It’s a story about adolescence, about the unique passage from childhood to adulthood
and then something happens/ and one of them becomes a tree, he grows up, and the other one stays a child, maybe now is not his time, he’ll grow up later

WHow did you compose the backgrounds ?
the background was really an accident
I took a lot of pictures of the country, of the city, really of everything that was around me and by saturating the pictures and maximizing the contrast/ I got some very abstract images with splotches and splashes of color/ and lots of interesting textures to work with in photoshop to create a misty atmosphere. What I really wanted was to create an abstract landscape, sometimes without any perspective

The music is beautiful, who is the composer ?
I really love Michel Korb‘s music, I really wanted to work with him on this film/ because I had noticed his music in other films /and the first trial he did became the movie’s theme
Right from the beginning he really knew what I wanted and what I was expecting /and I think he really had a feeling for the film.

Why the snow make them react like that ?
Snow is really important in the film/ because in the beginning the snow breaks the tree trunk that falls/ and wakes up the little character/ who is sleeping under another tree
Once he is outside he discovers snow so he eats it and experiments with it
Later in the film, the character leaves his home in the forest to go to the lake /and look at what he swallowed/ and see if he can identify it and figure out who he is and what happened
There is a snowstorm that represents a tormented feeling inside him and when he sees his reflection in the lake/ and comes back to the forest/ he seems more serene, he has realized something while he was at the lake
and then it stops snowing, and he becomes a tree/ the snow was there to make him grow up and he doesn’t need it anymore


After having graduated in Appllied Arts from high school at Blois, Joanna Lurie starts on the path of advertisement for a while and gets a Higher National Diploma in Visual Communication at the High School of Image and Sound in Angoulême. Meanwhile she creates marionettes, builds sceneries, learns black and white photography and dreams about one thing only, do animated films. She then joins the EMCA of Angoulême in 2002 and ends her studies with the EMCI in 2005.

She decides to alternate equally between her job in production (she worked in particular on the series « L’île à lili », « Grabouillon », the pilot of the film « Le tableau » from the director Jean-François Laguionie...) and in the direction of short films.

In her films with poetic tales and an image which is often very graphic, one let himself carried away by curious mysterious and silent characters, in fantastic stories sometimes absurd, or tragic. Joanna Lurie introduces us to her fifth short film, « Le silence sous l’écorce »(2009).

Her website
see the mini doc on Dailymotion, here
The Silence beneath the bark

« Moon Blues » (2003)
« Trop près du sol » (2004)
« Under the stone » (2004)
« Trees migration » (2005)

Please find attached :
1) the press kit
2) Joanna Lurie’s interview
3) Bio and filmo of Joanna Lurie