Canada heats up Oscars shortlists!

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Canadian projects are making big waves in this year’s Oscars shortlists, shining bright in two categories.

Out of 15 animated shorts that made the shortlist, two are Canadian and another two are coproductions with Canada. We’ve also got two Canadian projects on the live action shorts shortlist! Will our homegrown projects make the cut as nominated Oscar contenders? We can’t wait to find out! Meanwhile, here’s your inside scoop on each of these six exceptional shorts — plus, a bonus look at another Canadian creator in this year’s shortlist mix. 

Animated Short Film

  • Joanna Quinn’s Affairs of the Art
    Featuring hand-drawn animation, this U.K.-Canada coproduction is a comedy about Beryl and the varied obsessions of her eccentric family.  Produced by Beryl Productions International Ltd. and the National Film Board of Canada, this festival favourite has racked up 23 prizes, including Award for Best Animation – International Competition at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival; Special Jury Distinction for Direction – Short Film at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival; and Gold Hugo for Best Animated Short Film at the Chicago International Film Festival, among many others.


  • Zacharias Kunuk’s Angakusajaujuq (The Shaman’s Apprentice)
    After winning the coveted FIPRESCI award at Annecy, where it premiered, this short by the co-founder of Isuma (the renowned Inuit production company and artist collective) took home Best Canadian Short Film honours at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was featured in TIFF Canada’s Top Ten list. Using puppets to tell its story, the narrative brings us into the world of a young shaman who ventures underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below. Produced by Kingulliit Productions, Taqqut Productions.


  • Sandra Desmazières’s Comme un fleuve (Flowing Home)
    Produced by Paris-based Les Films de l’Arlequin and the NFB, this France-Canada coproduction by this French director is set after the Vietnam War, and follows two separated sisters who write each other letters to stay connected.
  • Claude Cloutier’s Bad Seeds (Mauvaises herbes)
    A pair of duelling carnivorous plants are the stars of this six-minute, hand-drawn allegorical story that delves into themes of competition and evolution. Making waves on the international festival circuit (including Annecy), this short produced by L’Unité centrale and the NFB picked up the Best Animated Short win at the New York City Short Film Festival, among other prizes, and has screened at 27 fests! Iconic filmmaker Claude Cloutier has directed many animated films, including 2015’s Carface. 

Live Action Short Film

  • Annie St-Pierre’s Like the Ones I Used to Know (Les grandes claques)
    Known for directing 2013’s documentary All That We Make (Fermières), and other works as a producer, casting director, and actor, filmmaker Annie St-Pierre’s latest coming-of-age tale takes place in 1983. Set on Christmas Eve, a divorced dad fetches his kids from the in-laws. After premiering at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, this short was named to TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten list and earned a Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at both the the Nashville Film Festival and Calgary Film Festival, plus two Special Jury Awards at the SXSW Film Festival (including one for Direction, Narrative Short) to name just a few! Produced by Colonelle Films.

  • Marianne Farley’s Frimas
    Last year, Marianne Farley’s live action short Marguerite not only made the Oscars shortlist but earned a nomination! This year, the acclaimed filmmaker is back in the race with this dystopian short about a woman who turns to an illegal clinic for an abortion because abortion is against the law. With many festival awards snagged so far, including Best Narrative Short at the Miami Short Film Festival, this drama counts Uzo Aduba as one of its executive producers. According to her bio, Marianne Farley got her start as a singer and actor and in 2014 made her directorial debut with the short Ransack (Saccage). Produced by Ô Films. 

And… a bonus project by a Canadian director in the Documentary Short Subject category: 

Ben Proudfoot’s The Queen of Basketball 

While this project is not Canadian, its director is! Last year, we spotlighted Ben Proudfoot, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and now based in Los Angeles, when A Concerto is a Conversation (co-directed with Kris Bowers) scored an Academy Award nomination in this very same category. Ben Proudfoot is back in the Oscars game with The Queen of Basketball, another New York Times Op-Doc about an outstanding female basketball player who in the 1970s was drafted by the NBA. (Both these projects are produced by his company Breakwater Studios, with the New York Times.)  

As the Oscars race heats up, stay tuned for the big nominations reveal, coming up February 8, 2022! Then, the 94th Academy Awards take place on March 27, 2022. 

In the same category

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Six upcoming films from Canadian filmmakers on the festival circuit

Full Circle: La Théorie Lauzon at Cannes 2022

Generations: Not Short on Talent at Cannes 2022

Canadian contenders at Series Mania

Your First Look at Canada’s upcoming cinematic hits

Slamdance Rolls Out the Next Wave of Canadian Talent

Canadian Copro Opportunities: Producers Without Borders

Sundance 2022 Winners: From ‘Nanny’ and ‘Navalny’ to Crowd-Pleaser ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth,’ Indie Fest Spreads the Wealth

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