João Gonzalez’s animated short “Ice Merchants” has been nominated for an Oscar, according to the list of nominees announced today, becoming the first Portuguese film to compete for a “golden statue”. Ice Merchants is competing in the Best Animated Short Film category.
Asked by Llosa if he imagined that “Ice Merchants” could become the first Portuguese film to be nominated for an Oscar, João González replied: “No, not at all.”
“I started this film as a school film, and started making it in my little room in London, I never imagined it could take on this kind of dimension. It was a very pleasant surprise. It took two years of work, it was obviously rewarding,” he shared with Lusa.
Although he is signed to the film, Joao González talks about “working together”. “The film was made possible because I have such an amazing group of collaborators and the nomination is for all of them,” he said, adding that they are all “very happy” with the nomination.
João González highlighted the “great media impact” of the Oscars, noting that he and the team involved in the film see the nomination, “above all, as a good prospect for the popularization of Portuguese cinema, the great quality it is experiencing from the moment, and which has been living for some time.” “.
In addition to being shown and awarded on the film festival circuit, there was also behind-the-scenes work involved in promoting the film.
“Our campaign manager had a traveling ‘show’ in which he showed the five ‘short films’ he represented, in North American studios, Pixar was one, Disney was the other. We also went to Aardman, which is in the United Kingdom,” said Joao Gonzalez.
“Ice Merchants” is Joao González’s third film, Portuguese production produced by Bruno Caetano, by Cola Animation, and co-production with France and the United Kingdom.
The film, without dialogues, as its starting point is the image of a house on a mountain, leaning on the edge of an abyss. From there, the director developed the story of a father and his son, who produce snow in the inhospitable house they live in, and parachute out of it every day to sell it in the village, at the foot of the mountain.
João Gonzalez is responsible for the film’s direction and soundtrack and shares the 2D animation with Polish artist Ala Nunu.
Before reaching the Oscar nominations, “Ice Merchants” had already won awards in 2022 at Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival, France.
According to Agência da Curta-Metragem, João Gonzalez’s film has already been shown in more than a hundred film festivals, winning 44 awards and being watched by 8,425 spectators.
The 95th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on March 12.
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