“It’s something we made with so much love. We didn’t have an intention on how to amplify it,” says Emmy winner Colman Domingo, whose animated short film “New Moon” is among 15 shortlisted for Oscar consideration this year. “We just wanted to create it because we believe the messaging put out into the world about Black mothers, about Black boys. It’s a personal story, something that me and my mother experienced. It was Raul’s idea to turn it into animation.” Watch the video interview with filmmakers Colman and Raul Domingo above.
“New Moon” is the imaginative surrealist journey of young Jay Jay and his mother Edie. Their inner city dreams are illuminated by the New Moon accompanied by the magic of Aretha Franklin playing on a summer’s eve on a transistor radio in their West Philadelphia backyard. Colman voices and provides the motion for each character, which are based on his play “A Boy and His Soul.” The short film was animated by Jérémie Balais and Jeff LeBars.
SEE 2023 Oscars Best Animated Short Film cheat sheet: All 15 semi-finalists with detailed descriptions
“The idea was to put love in this world,” reveals Raul. “I saw Colman perform it in 2005 in a small theater in San Francisco. I remember how much love he was putting out there on the stage. It was 90 minutes of him telling the story of his family with different characters, without any physical props, and he was just so wonderful. It truly felt like you met all of his family, especially his mom. That one moment, where it talks about Colman as a little boy and his mom spending time together on summer evenings…that was the most magical moment. I thought that would be the greatest fragment of the play to adapt, so that’s what we did.”
Colman recently won his first Primetime Emmy Award for playing Ali in “Euphoria” on HBO. He discusses how his decades of hard work are finally reaping some rewards at the age of 53. “I’m a journeyman,” he explains. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve been committed to the work, whether the work is amplified or not. Many people who are just as talented, who may not get the opportunities to shine, I feel like it was for all of us. I feel like it was for the journeymen who stay in the game. I’m getting chills thinking about it. There was a whole bunch of people behind me, beside me and in front of me. And it wasn’t just about me, but it was about many people like me. I tell students, ‘You want to have a successful, fulfilling life in this industry, don’t look at my career right now. Look at it 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago. That’s when I put in the work.'”
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