A ‘MILA’ War Story Joins 94th Oscar Race for Best Animated Short

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MILA, a powerful animated short, about a young girl who witnessed the WWII bombings, is considered the best animated short for the 94th Academy Awards. This is a volunteer-based project involving more than 350 artists from all over the world and which has lasted for 10 years.

Work streamed on the Academy’s screening room is available to Academy members for voting purposes. Voting begins on December 10, 2021 and ends on December 15, 2021. The shortlist will be announced on December 21.

MILA is a war story told from a child’s perspective (five year old MILA). While the film draws inspiration from real events that happened in Trento, Italy, in 1943, Mila portrays all children, in any war, any time. In the film, the character of Mila represents the best of humanity. Although she has lost everything – her family, her home and her peace – she still clings to hope.

Over the years, MILA brought together sponsors and partners including Pixel Cartoon, IbiscusMedia, Autodesk, Toon Boom Animation, SideFX, Aniventure, UNICEF Italia, Dog Head Animation and Skywalker Sound. In 2019, Cinesite announced its partnership with the project to complete production of the animated film.

The team consisted of four main groups: United States, Italy, Canada and United Kingdom. Professional artists from Italy, Australia, Mexico, India, France, Belgium, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Nigeria , Egypt, Brazil, Spain and others have voluntarily contributed in various ways.

MILA’s wDirector Cinzia Angelini thinks animation is the perfect way to tell this story because while civilians are the first affected, their children are the last to be remembered.

“I am deeply honored and immensely grateful to lead such an incredible group of volunteers, who believed in me, Mila and all that she stands for. Seeing a project with such humble beginnings be considered for the Oscars shows us what artists can do when they come together towards a meaningful goal. Nothing can stop them! It has always been a team effort, supported by countless people who have encouraged, contributed and are part of our international and multicultural team. Sharing this wonderful news with everyone was the ultimate reward, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart, ”exclaimed Angelini.

The CG short film not only rallied a global collective to illustrate the hearts, minds and undying hope of children in war zones, but also shed light on women in the animation industry. Thirty percent of the film crew were women and many held leadership positions including writer / director, producer, executive producers, script supervisor, lighting manager, rigging supervisor, character effects managers. and responsible for the co-production.

“I’m so happy to work in a studio that really cares about supporting women in the industry. And I’m also happy that I was able to give back… with any advice or recommendations or with networking to help the people who had been on the film for many years to get something out of it. Many people who started as students with us are now professionals and have been able to have portfolios thanks to Mila. We didn’t just want to take from the community, so we gave as much as we could, ”said the director known for her work in Despicable Me 3.

Originally from Italy, Angelini moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and worked as a 2D / 3D animator and screenwriter for studios like Dreamworks, Disney Animation Studios, Warner Brothers and other large organizations. She is currently co-directing the animated feature film HITPIG with David Feiss. The film takes place in a futuristic cyberpunk world. The story follows a grizzled pig bounty hunter Hitpig (Peter Dinklage) who accepts his next hit: Pickles (Lilly Singh), a naive and bubbling elephant who has escaped the clutches of an evil trillionaire.

HITPIG is produced by Aniventure and is currently in production at Cinesite. Its release is scheduled for 2022.


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