Still playing catch-up with the office move and all last weekend, but I was thrilled to discover that two of the most popular shorts at this year's 17th Annual Florida Film Festival were recently awarded Student Academy Awards at the 35th annual competition presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.The Animation category was won by Nicole Mitchell's delightful ZOOLOGIC, a New Yorker-esque work in which a fussy zookeeper must contend with some uncooperative and rebellious tenants. This under 5-minute gem was the second highest rated animated short in the festival (both domestic and international), with only Aardman's SHAUN THE SHEEP: STILL LIFE garnering a more enthusiastic response from our audiences.
Rajeev Dassani's A DAY'S WORK, winner of a Florida Film Festival Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Acting, took home the Student Oscar honors in the Narrative category. This intense, beautifully acted drama about a middle-class family and three immigrant day-laborers trapped by mistrust and language barriers, was also the third most popular narrative short film out of the 26 in our American Independent competition. Congratulations to both of these very talented and deserving filmmakers.