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A Kind of Testament A Kind of Testament

We invited the filmmakers behind each of this year’s 15 Oscar-shortlisted animated shorts to share their favorite shot from their film and explain why it’s special to them. The pieces are being published in the order that materials were received. Nomination voting begins tomorrow, January 11.

In this piece, director Stephen Vuillemin discusses his French short A Kind of Testament, which won the Go Short Award at the Go Short International Short Film Festival, the Zlatko Grgic Award for best first professional film at Zagreb, and screened in the short film competition at the Berlinale.

In the haunting film, a young woman finds animated videos on the internet that were created using her private selfies. After investigating, she contacts a stranger with the same name who confesses to stealing her identity, but larger questions loom that may never be answered. Unsettling music and sound effects clash with gorgeous illustrations, creating a viewing experience that forces the audience to share the protagonist’s unease.

Below, Vuillemin shares his favorite scene from the short and tell us its significance:

At 30 seconds, this is the second-longest shot in the film. It features movement all the way through, it has multiple characters and interactions, and there’s no camera movement or similar tricks. All those factors meant that this shot posed a real animation challenge to me.

I animated it entirely by myself at the very beginning of the project, and it took me months to complete. But once it was there, it was very satisfying. I felt like I had learned a lot in doing this shot.

It also let me assess how much time and effort the rest of the film was going to take, and I knew it would be a matter of years. So, it was both exciting and scary.

Read the other entries in the series:

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