‘Lost Property Office’. 

Writer-director Daniel Agdag’s Lost Property Office has made the shortlist in the animated short film category at the 90th annual Academy Awards after winning an AACTA award yesterday.

Produced by Liz Kearney and funded by Screen Australia, the film is one of 10 finalists out of the 63 that qualified.

The Short Films and Feature Animation branch members will select five nominees which will be announced on January 23. The Oscars will be handed out on March 4 US time.

In other international news, Jungle Entertainment/Blue-Tongue Films’  Mr Inbetween will have its world premiere in the first Indie Episodic section at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The first Australian series commissioned by FX, it is based on Scott Ryan’s 2005 feature The Magician and is written by and stars Ryan as Ray Shoesmith, a hitman who conducts his chilling business while maintaining friendships, parental responsibilities and romance.

Nash Edgerton directs and the cast includes Brooke Satchwell, Damon Herriman, Justin Rosniak, Edmund Lembke-Hogan, Nicholas Cassim and YouTube star Natalie Tran.

On Lost Property Office Agdag also served as the DOP, editor and production designer. Based on original ideal by Nicola Gunn, the plot follows Ed, the sole custodian of a lost property office who has only a tiny toy robot and an old gramophone for company, items he restored after finding them at train stations.

In many ways Ed is like the lost items gathering dust so he decides to move on from his post in an unorthodox way.

Kearney tells IF the project was a labour of love since Screen Australia provided $150,000 in funding in 2013.

The entire film was fashioned from more than 2,500 sheets of recycled cardboard, patiently hand-cut using 1,287 scalpel blades to create 1258 elaborate set pieces and delicate individual props. That took a year and the stop-motion process was completed in 10 months. The post was carried out at Soundfirm.

The film premiered at the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne international Film Festival, has screened at festivals in Warsaw and Stockholm and Kearney is hoping it will be showcased at a major international fest.

The 10 finalists are:

Cradle – Devon Manney, director (University of Southern California)

Dear Basketball – Glen Keane, director, and Kobe Bryant, writer (Glen Keane Productions)

Fox and the Whale – Robin Joseph, director (Robin Joseph)

Garden Party – Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, directors (MOPA)

In a Heartbeat – Esteban Bravo and Beth David, directors (Ringling College of Art and Design)

Life Smartphone – Chenglin Xie, director (China Central Academy of Fine Arts)

Lost Property Office – Daniel Agdag, director, and Liz Kearney, producer (8th in Line)

Lou – Dave Mullins, director, and Dana Murray, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)

Negative Space – Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, directors (Ikki Films)

Revolting Rhymes – Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)

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