“We didn’t expect it,” admits “My Life as a Zucchini” producer Max Karli during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when asked about his recent Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. “We hoped for it,” he adds, “but you can never say that you’re sure of it.” Directed by Claude Barras, this stop-motion animated film centers on Courgette (Zucchini), a nine-year-old boy who finds himself at an orphanage following the sudden death of his mother. While he struggles to find his place at first, he eventually makes friends and finds true love.
Barras made his feature film debut with this coming-of-age story following several stop-motion shorts. “The film is a message of hope for any kids who are in any kind of difficulties,” he divulges. “We live in a world that is quite complex and dark sometimes, and one of the goals of the film is to help them understand, to talk to kids and help them understand the world.”
“My Life as a Zucchini” competes at the Oscars against “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Moana,” “The Red Turtle,” and “Zootopia.” The French-Swiss production, which also made the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film, will be released in US theaters on Feb. 24th.
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