Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fil-Aussie animator bares animated film's journey to Oscars

Filipino-Australian animator Robertino Zambrano's film, "Love In The Time Of March Madness," is a step closer to getting an Oscars, after it was shortlisted for 'Best Animated Short Film.'

But before getting the Oscars nomination, the process had been a roller coaster ride for Zambrano and his partner, documentarist Melissa Johnson.

Zambrano, a graduate of Design at the University of Technology in Sydney, had long been dreaming of making an animated film when a friend introduced him to Johnson, a former American college basketball player who makes documentaries.

Upon seeing Johnson's script on "Love in the Time of March Madness," Zambrano knew he had to work on the film.

"Love in the Time of March Madness" is a story of the awkward love misadventures of a 6’4 foot tall woman.

"As soon as I saw her script it clicked, I can already see awesome imagery that could go with her words and we dove in and decided to make it," Zambrano said on Mornings @ ANC Wednesday.

The Fil-Aussie animator said the film was supposedly just a six-month project for Internet uploading. But while spending a year working on the film, they realized it will be more worth the effort if the project gets into huge film festivals.

Zambrano and his team, however, realized the degree of their decision three years later when resources became scarce.

“Fast forward three years later, we were struggling to finish the film, there was no budget and we’re kinda on the verge of quitting and we decided to just cut together a rough edit which is one-third unfinished… and we just sent it out to the big festivals,” Zambrano said.

"By sending it out to the festivals is putting ourselves in the line to try and finish it," he added.

And that's when Tribeca Film Festival came knocking, accepting Zambrano's first film to the festival and granting the film the Tribeca Online Festival 'Best Online Short' of 2014.

"We were so stunned the first time Tribeca showed interest in accepting our film to their festival," Zambrano said.

Twenty more festivals later, the film is now ready for the famous Academy Awards. Zambrano believes the film's "honest, raw, and personal" attack make it stand out from other entries.

"It’s honest in its sense that this is just an interpretation, a depiction of these events, when something is drawn and sketch it feels more personal and raw. And I think that coupled with Melissa’s really strong story-telling style and her voice performance in the film, that’s just right level of honest, raw and really personal, I think that's what connects to people,” he said.