The gorgeous, wrenching “Bear Story” demands a view after its win on Sunday for Best Animated Short.
Luckily, readers of TheWrap have been up on Gabriel Osorio’s movie since it swept the Jury and Audience awards at the 2015 ShortList Film Festival. The film is currently part of ShortsHD’s theatrical program of all the Oscar-nominated shorts, and its trailer is available here.
The short tells of a lonesome bear who builds an elaborate mechanical diorama in an attempt to remember (and perhaps recover) the life he used to live with his wife and son before he was ripped from his home and sent to a circus.
Audiences in Osorio’s native Chile immediately know the film is an allegory for the way families were torn apart during the murderous Pinochet regime during the 1970s.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to get this message through,” Osorio said in the Oscars press room following his historic victory. “The importance of family, that the family must be together and cannot be separated for any political reasons or for any other reason.
“For us it’s really great, it’s such an incredible opportunity,” the director continued.
Osorio previously told TheWrap that the idea was “mainly inspired by the story of my grandfather. He was exiled from Chile in the ’70s and spent 10 years in England — I knew that I had a grandfather, but I didn’t meet him when I was a kid.”
When TheWrap caught up with him at the Governors Ball following his Oscar victory, Osorio said he thought the exposure at the ShortList festival, and the accompanying article on the website, was the first time the real story of the film reached a wider audience, particularly in Hollywood.
“When I came out here for the ShortList and you told me I had a shot at the Oscar, I never believed it,” he said. “Now I still can’t believe that it happened.”