Waikato director's sci-fi short keeps company with Oscar

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2013

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A Waikato man is to see his short film screen alongside Oscar nominees after it was chosen to be part of the Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013 presentation.

Ngaruawahia freelance 3D animator Richard Mans said his film, Abiogenesis, cost about $50,000 and had a less than stellar origin, starting life a decade ago as a sketch of a robot in his parents' garage.

The five-minute sci-fi film, which follows a robot as it lands on a desolate planet, will screen alongside Oscar-nominated shorts in hundreds of theatres throughout the US, Canada and Europe over the next few weeks, and have a limited theatrical release in other countries.

Mr Mans said it was a privilege to be recognised on such a huge platform.

"It's, you know, The Oscars. Even if you're not nominated it's pretty cool," he said.

"Just to be screened with such amazing films."

Although Abiogenesis has not been nominated for the Oscars this year, the theatrical release now qualifies the film to run for next year's Academy Awards.

Mr Mans said the film, which took four years to produce, has taken him to many film festivals, including the Palm Springs International ShortFest, British Animation Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Maui Film Festival.

"It seems to get a new invite every day," he said.

"Producers really have open ears for short film makers because they think you are the next big thing and they don't want to miss out," he said.

But it has been a long road, he said, and there was still quite a distance to travel.

"Getting your film out there takes a lot longer than you might imagine. This whole promotion of a film takes ages. It doesn't just get put in with the Oscar nominees overnight," he said.

Abiogenesis will also later this year be included in ImageMakers, US television station KQED's weekly series that "showcases short films by the moviemakers of tomorrow".

jenna.lynch@waikatotimes.co.nz

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