Calgary filmmakers get Oscar nomination for animated short film

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Calgary filmmakers Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby received an Oscar nomination for their animated short, The Flying Sailor, a surreal film about a British soldier being blown into the sky during the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

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Forbis and Tilby received the news early Tuesday morning when the nominations were announced live in Los Angeles by actors Riz Ahmed and Alison Williams.

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It is the third Oscar nomination for the filmmaking team. Their debut, 1999’s When the Day Breaks, and their 2012 followup Wild Life, were both nominated in the same category. Tilby’s 1991 solo effort Strings was also nominated.

Clocking in at less than eight minutes, The Flying Sailor took three years to make and is their third film for the National Film Board. The filmmakers met in the 1980s when both were studying animation and film at the Emily Car College of Art and Design n in Vancouver. Tilby was born in St. Albert before moving to Edmonton as a child. Forbis was born in Calgary.

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The Flying Sailor was produced by Calgary’s David Christensen at the National Film Board’s studio in Edmonton. Forbis, Tilby and Christensen were all in Park City, Utah attending the Sundance Film Festival when the nominations were announced.

The Flying Sailor is inspired by true story of a British sailor who survived being blown off the pier and out of his clothes on Dec. 6, 1917, during the devastating Halifax Explosion, where a vessel loaded with explosives collided with another ship in Halifax Harbour. Forbis and Tilby first heard of the story when visiting the Maritime Museum in Halifax.

More to come…

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