<em>Secret of Kells</em> In The News <em>Secret of Kells</em> In The News
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Secret of Kells In The News

Secret of Kells

Today’s New York Times has an article about the surprise Oscar nomination of Secret of Kells. There are some fascinating details in the article about the grassroots campaign to get the film nominated:

GKIDS was aided by a “superfan,” Jamie Bolio, an animator who had fallen in love with the film at Edinburgh. The company essentially enabled her to be a citizen publicist, allowing her to post on “The Secret of Kells” Facebook page and giving her 200 DVDs to distribute to the Los Angeles cartooning industry.

Also, if you’ve seen the film and want to understand all of its historical references and settings, I can recommend no finer article than this in-depth analysis by Robert Tan posted on Roger Ebert’s blog.

  • elle

    Finally got to see Kells at USC this past Sunday and it was packed!

    So glad distribution is finally in place, I know it was an uphill battle, but it’s too bad it couldn’t have happened before the Oscars while the iron was hot, so to speak.

  • Scarabim

    Astro Boy should have been nominated, if Kells was. Both were uniquely excellent in their own modest little ways.

  • I’m root for Kells all the way!!

  • Very striking design and innovative animation style (though a bit similar to Samurai Jack). However, I feel the film relies too much on dialog and not enough on visual storytelling.

  • I think it’s very important to note that Jamie is way more than some “superfan”.
    She’s a real supporter of the medium that she works in and is prepared to champion something she loves.
    If there were more like her then both animators and civilians would have the chance to see more animation.

  • Yes, Jamie Bolio is a pro, not simply a “fan”. But she’s pretty super all around.

    I’ve got to say the “grassroots” drum beating for this film has been very encouraging.

  • Thomas Dee

    So, when are we going to get a US release anyway? I’ve been dying to see this thing for years now.

  • Nominating committee member

    Wasn’t this film nominated the same way all the other films for best animated film were?
    They submitted it after making sure it was released according to the rules and then the nominating committee rated it…?
    As a member of the nominating committee I wasn’t aware of any grassroots influence that made me rate it one way or the other. I (and I assume the other 99 members) rated it according to what we saw at the screening.

    If this ‘grassroots movement’ is trying to convince anyone (including the filmmakers) they accomplished anything they don’t seem to understand the process. Their film had every chance that all the other films that were up for nomination had.

  • Nominating committee member –
    You are right.
    This film was nominated exactly the same way as everyone else.
    Thanks in great part to Jamie’s efforts, the film has been seen by many more people than the 100 members of the nominating committee.
    She had no intention of influencing anyone to do anything other than to go see the film.
    Your paranoid and cynical comment is the complete antithesis to the efforts she put in to exposing this film to audiences.

  • I watched it.Twice on big screen.
    For me it is animated Andrei Rublev /perhaps better/

    Disney was the first distributor of this film.
    Can he blame for distribution and fulfilling the conditions for nomination?

  • Nominating committee member

    Elliot, doesn’t the article and Amid’s blurb indicate the grassroots movement was influenciual in getting the nomination?
    My point was -and you’ve yet to make it clear – how anyone feels she had something to do with getting the film nominated.
    You might find my statement cynical, but I’m just dumbfounded by the article. She is somehow taking credit (with your help) for getting the film nominated. Explain to me how that is so.
    Yes, maybe she made it possible to have the film seen by many more people, but that has nothing to do with getting it nominated.
    And just to be clear I never received a screener of it – not that would’ve helped in my accessment since screeners cannot be used by the nominating committee. I still ranked it fairly high as the other committee members must have as well.
    If anything you, and others who feel she had something to do with getting the film nominated, aren’ty giving the film – or the nominating committee its due.
    If she wants to try a grassroots movement to get it the Best Animated Film Award I could see that possibly working – since the rest of the Academy can vote from their reaction to ads, articles and Screeners.

  • Jamie Bolio

    Nominating Committee Member:

    I was not consulted [about the article] nor was I interviewed by The NY Times.
    I was named IN this article by a third party.

    If you have an issue with me or my participation in the promotion of this film — I would appreciate you sharing your real name and taking your concerns offline.

    You may contact me via Jerry Beck.

  • High-Minded Civilian

    This grass roots campaign is what spread word of mouth throughout Los Angeles. While I can’t say for certain it was solely responsible for its nomination, a big part of why this film was able to overcome the hurdles was because of the hard work of Jamie, Pamela Koller (who brought the film to the attention of many important people in Los Angeles) and all the other people who brought the work their most sincere support.

    However, let’s all remember that it starts with the film, and the filmmakers deserve more credit than anybody else. Let’s just honor the campaign for creating such a buzz, and remember that nominations are a great way to bring exposure but it’s people being able to see and experience this film that is far more valuable.

  • Amid’s introduction and the article do suggest this, you’re quite right.
    But I don’t think it’s the case.
    I never said it had anything to do with it being nominated though.
    We are now agreeing, I think.

  • hannah

    Hey, I just wanted to comment and say that if you can buy a copy of this from the cartoon saloon website and you’ll get a signed sketch from the director

  • Nominating committee member

    Elliot – sounds good to me. It was Amid and the article’s misunderstanding and mis-statement of the reason the film received a nomination that I was correcting.

  • Hey Chicago Animation fans, were projecting this at the Gene Siskel Filmcenter April first! (NO JOKE!)

  • Bill Field

    I really think it deserved the nod in a big way- it is the evolution of Mary Blair’s terrific work from 60 years back!

  • I’m afraid I don’t see how Astroboy should have been nominated. It came nowhere near the artistry, beauty or originality of Kells. Astroboy wasn’t a bad movie, but it was quite mediocre and had didn’t have much to do with Tezuka’s original vision.

  • rodguen

    I’ll add my praise too for this gem of a movie, and to all Jamie has done
    to share it.
    That movie deserves all kind of awards.
    THIS is what 2D should be, embracing its graphic potential.


  • Inkan1969

    Is there any link between this movie and “Kim Possible”? The character designs look so similar: I keep thinking Kim and Ron when I look at that scan. :-) Anyone work on both? Or did both cartoons draw from the same artistic inspiration?