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Erick Oh’s ‘Opera’ nominated for Oscar in best animated short film category

A scene from “Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike)
A scene from “Opera” (Beasts and Natives Alike)

South Korean director Erick Oh’s short animation “Opera” made the final list of nominees Monday for the Oscar for best animated short film.

“It is such an incredible honor to have ‘Opera’ nominated for an Oscar!” said Oh from California. “I hope this recognition will bring a very positive impact on all the creators and audiences out there because ‘Opera’ presents a different way to view and enjoy the medium of animation.”

The unconventional film, which won Oh the Minister’s Award at the 2020 Korea Contents Awards, is an 8K massive-scale animation installation piece that reflects on life, society and history. It is both the only Asian short animation and the only nonnarrative form animation to get an Oscar nomination.

The other animations on the list are Netflix’s “If Anything Happens I Love You,” Pixar’s “Burrow,” French animation “Genius Loci” and Icelandic animation “Yes-People.”

“I’m deeply grateful that the Academy believed in my vision for this film, and a huge thank you to every artist and friend who were a part of this project. Animation is a team effort and none of this would have been possible without your talent, love and support,” Oh said.

It took Oh four years to complete the film as a side project with a group of friends and artists. According to Oh, more than half of the production was done without any money.

“To me, ‘Opera’ carries an important message about our society and history. I hope this nomination helps ‘Opera’ reach a broader audience so we can start the conversation to make our lives and ourselves better,” Oh said.

The director plans to hold an exhibition for “Opera” in Korea sometime this year.

Meanwhile, “Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs” by director Hong Sung-ho -- the first Korean animated film to make the preliminary nomination list for best animated feature -- failed to make the final list of nominees.

The 93rd Academy Awards will take place April 25.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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