Nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards will be announced on January 24, but one small Czech production has taken a big step to securing the honor.
While many Oscar nominations are selected by vote from an at-large pool of eligible features, categories such as the documentary and short film sections are whittled down in advance of nominations in what’s known as a shortlist.
And one of the films that has made this year’s shortlist for Best Animated Short comes from the Czech Republic: Happy End, a short made by Jan Saska while a student at FAMU billed as “a black comedy about death with a happy ending.”
Happy End will compete with nine other films to secure the Best Animated Short nomination in January. Five nominees will then compete for the Oscar in March.
Those films include some high-profile competition, such as Inner Workings, the Disney Animation short that premiered in cinemas this month alongside the feature Moana.
While the entire six-minute Happy End is not available online, Saska has posted a 30-second clip to his Vimeo account:
Happy End held its international premiere at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes earlier this year.
You can see the crop of this year’s FAMU student films in Prague right now as part of FAMUFEST, which runs through November 27.