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“Boxballet” – Oscar nominee: what it is and where to watch it Mel

Today, March 27, the 94th Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles. This year one of the nominees is the animated film “BoxBallet” by Russian director Anton Dyakov. We tell you what kind of project it is and why its author will not be able to attend the award ceremony in person.

What a cartoon

“BoxBallet” is a 15-minute cartoon by director Anton Dyakov about the relationship between ballerina Olga and boxer Eugene. The picture is built on constant contrasts: from external (rude boxer and gentle ballerina) to ethical (harassment, deception for victory, a quiet life against the background of political upheaval).

Initially, the author planned to add many dialogues to the cartoon – they have already been written, but in the end there is only one word left in the picture, and all the feelings and experiences of the characters are expressed by facial expressions, gestures and color choices.

The cartoon was created at the studio “Mill”: it makes “Luntik”, “Barboskin” and full-length cartoons based on Russian epics – “Alesha Popovich and Tugarin snake” and the like.

More than 30 animators and artists took part in the work on BoxBallet – it took a whole year of work to create the cartoon, more than 20,000 drawings, studying boxing matches and endless viewing of ballet parties.

Who is Anton Dyakov

The animator Anton Dyakov grew up in Kazakhstan in a creative family: his father was a graphic artist, his grandfather worked in advertising. In Alma-Ata, Anton first entered an art school, then – a pedagogical university at the Faculty of Graphic Arts. After studying, the future Oscar nominee moved to Moscow. For 11 years he was engaged in advertising, and closer to 30 he took and entered the “Ball” – a school-studio of author’s animated films, among the creators of which – the great animators Yuri Norstein and Fedor Khitruk.

So Dyakov began to create cartoons. And very successfully: the very first experience – the cartoon “Bach” – won many awards, as well as a thesis – the cartoon “Kostya” about a small skeleton.

The Oscar nominee BoxBallet also received a number of significant awards – he was awarded at the Icarus Awards, recognized as the best in the category of animated short films at the Short Festival, nominated at the largest animation festival in Annecy and our “Nick” as the best animation the film. Now the Russian cartoon will compete for the Oscar.

Unfortunately, the Russian director will not be able to attend the awards – in mid-February he had difficulty obtaining a visa, but, according to the author, it did not upset him.

“It simply came to our notice then. Many ask if I’m going, and regret it. This reaction, pity for me, is not the most pleasant feeling, in the sense that, well, brothers, it is a hard time for me to whine about not being allowed to the Oscars, when many people are in extreme conditions “, – quotes Dyakova TASS.

Who else is represented in the nomination

BoxBallet’s competitors at the ceremony will be 4 films – a Chilean cartoon about the dictatorship “Beast”, a Christmas project “Robin” about a robin bird from the studio that gave the world “Escape from the chicken coop”, a British cartoon about obsession “Stepani” »About love in the style of cyberpunk.

There is no clear leader among the nominees. Many critics are inclined to believe that the statuette will be taken away by “Robin” – after all, this is a clear and very “Oscar” story. In addition, the project bought Netflix, it can contribute to success. But the number of boxing awards at BoxBallet and the relevance (albeit clearly unintentional) of this cartoon can play into the hands of the Russian picture.

The film has not been rented in Russia yet, despite the fact that it was released in 2019. But, according to the authors, the cartoon is currently being prepared for Russian viewers. Let’s hope that we will soon be able to see it on the big screens. Perhaps even as an Oscar winner.

Cover image: frame from the cartoon “BoxBallet” / Mill

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