Magazine article Variety

My Life as a Zucchini

Magazine article Variety

My Life as a Zucchini

Article excerpt

The Academy's animation branch regularly shows love for foreign-language films, and the Oscar nomination of "My Life as a Zucchini" is a striking example. Claude Barras' feature debut about orphaned children is notable for both its bold subject matter and its format: a stop-motion film produced in French. The Swiss-born director even had his film short-listed as Switzerland's official entry in the foreign-language film category.

"That was rather rare," says Barras, who's earned acclaim at Cannes, Annecy, and festivals worldwide. But he doesn't think he's an outlier when it comes to foreign-language stop-motion. "There are several centers in France - in Valence, Brittany, and Toulouse - and in Belgium, Norway, and Switzerland." Barras cites an informal network of stop-motion animators who travel from one center to another to work. "We received proposals from the four corners of Europe, and even from the U.S. and New Zealand."

"Autobiography of a Zucchini" was a book that inspired the film, but Barras and screenwriter Celine Sciamma broadened its appeal to reach younger children. …

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