[WATCH] ‘Long Way North’ director Remi Chaye and storyboard artist Liane-Cho Han chat animated Oscar contender

After years spent working as a storyboard artist and assistant director, Remi Chaye made his directorial debut with this year’s animated film “Long Way North.” During our recent webcam chat (watch above) he reveals that all of that effort helped lead up to this moment. “I wanted to learn how to tell that story,” he recalls, adding that the film’s idea first came to him well over a decade ago, when he was first starting out. This French-Danish production centers on a young Russian girl in the 19th century who embarks on an epic journey to find her grandfather, who disappeared while exploring in the North Pole.

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Working on a small budget, Chaye collaborated closely with his lead storyboard artist Liane-Cho Han, who also storyboarded “The Little Prince” this year. “In our industry, most people are really focused on the technique,” Han divulges. “But we sometimes tend to forget that a good movie is also a very good story.” He adds, “That was the challenge of the movie, because we didn’t have the money to impress people,” so therefore, “we had to find a way to, of course, tell a very simple story, but to create as much emotion as we could.”

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Chaye worked his way up the animation ladder before serving as assistant director on “The Secret of Kells” (2009) and “The Painting” (2011). “Long Way North” recently reaped an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Feature – Independent. Is an Oscar nomination next?

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