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OSCARS 2015 Norway/Denmark

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Norwegian Oscar winner Torill Kove tries her luck for the third time


- Kove’s 13-minute Me and My Moulton is competing for Best Animated Short Film, while Song of the Sea was 40% made in Denmark

Norwegian Oscar winner Torill Kove tries her luck for the third time
Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove

Described as an autobiographical film about a little girl’s desire to fit in – a 1960s story about a seven-year-old girl whose modernist, architect parents are a source of embarrassment and anxiety for her – Norwegian director Torill Kove’s 13-minute Me and My Moulton was yesterday (15 January) nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

It is Kove’s third nomination, following My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts (2000) – inspired by her own grandmother, who ironed the shirts of Norway’s King Haakon VII for many years – and The Danish Poet (Den danske dikteren – 2006), which won the prize in 2007.

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Launched at last year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Me and My Moulton has so far screened at 26 international gatherings and has brought home several awards. This year’s Oscar gala will take place on 22 February at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre and will be televised in a huge number of countries, via ABC. 

Born in Hamar, near Oslo, Kove moved to Montreal, where she got a master’s degree in urban planning; she did not watch much animation until she was in her 30s. While unemployed in 1991, she would visit the National Film Board of Canada’s library in Saint-Denis Street every day.

“Two things happened as I was sifting through the animation collection: one was excitement at having discovered such a wonderful treasure of films; the other was a voice in me that said loud and clear, 'I want to do this.’ I wanted to write, I wanted to draw, I wanted to be serious and funny, and with this art form, I could do all three,” she recalled. 

Me and My Moulton was scripted by Kove and produced by Lise Fearnley for Norway’s Mikrofilm, in conjunction with the NFB, also the team behind The Danish Poet. Besides short films, she has directed a feature, Hocus Pocus Alfie Atkins (2013), as well as written and illustrated several children's books.

Meanwhile, 40% of Irish director Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Tomm Moore
film profile
, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature, was shot at Denmark’s Nørlum Studios in the provincial city of Viborg. The film is based on the Irish-Scottish legends of the selkies, which transform from seals into people.

“We were the first partner to enter the European co-production, with the financing in place, so we also had first choice of what we wanted to make,” explained Nørlum producer Claus Toksvig Kjaer and animator Frederik Villumsen.

Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea will be shown for the first time in Denmark at Viborg’s Fotorama on 20 January; meanwhile, Toksvig Kjaer and Villumsen have started work on their next feature, French director Rémi Chayé’s Longway North [+see also:
film profile
, for Sacrebleu Productions.

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