Oscar 2008: This Way Up–Academy Nominated Short (Animation)

“This Way Up,” a short film directed by Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith at London based animation studio Nexus, has been nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Written by Foulkes, Smith, and Christopher O'Reilly, the humorous eight-minute film follows two dour undertakers as they battle a series of misadventures while trying to deliver a coffin to the graveyard. The film is currently screening at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Some of the most creative filmmaking in the world is coming in the field of animation, and we're thrilled that the Academy has recognized our work at this exciting time,” says Charlotte Bavasso, a producer of “This Way Up” and the co-founder of Nexus with Chris O'Reilly.

Nexus, the London-based animation company founded ten years ago, is currently working on a full slate of commercials, music videos and short-form animated films. Its first commission was to create animated content for the world's largest video screens on U2's “Pop Mart” world tour; since then, the company has assembled an international stable of directors to work on films, television shows, commercials, music videos and title sequences. Nexus was the production company behind the acclaimed titles of
the Spielberg film “Catch Me If You Can” and the 2006 remake of “The Pink Panther.” Over the last ten years Nexus has developed one of the largest 3D animation studios.

“At Nexus we've always been committed to short film animation, so it's fantastic to be honored with the nomination in this category,” says O'Reilly. “But more than just being singled out by the Academy, the Oscar's nomination is important to us because it's a stepping stone for us to develop feature length animation.”

Smith and Foulkes have directed short films, music videos, commercials and title sequences at Nexus.  Their work includes Super Bowl commercials for Coca Cola, the title sequence for “Thunderbirds,” a film-within-a-film for “Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events,” and commercials for VW, Sony and Motorola.

“This Way Up” has won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, including:
Sundance Film Festival – Official Selection, London Short Film Festival – Comedy Award.

“This Way Up” and the other Oscar-nominated shorts in both the animated and live-action categories will be released by Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures in theaters nationwide on February 6.  The films will also be available on iTunes beginning February 17, one week before the Oscar ceremony.