Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary, the sole French contestant for this year’s animated feature Oscar, can now be streamed by animation professionals around the world — for free. The film has been added to the Animation Showcase streaming platform, which makes award contenders and other content available to those in the industry.
Rémi Chayé’s film, an origin story of sorts for the frontierswoman Calamity Jane, has yet to pick up U.S. distribution, despite winning the top feature prize at last year’s Annecy Festival. The director’s previous film Long Way North (2015) was released in the U.S. by Shout! Factory and nominated for an Annie in the independent animated feature category. Calamity has also qualified for the Annies.
The streaming platform is the brainchild of Benoit Berthe Siward, founder and CEO of The Animation Showcase, a strategy agency closely involved with award campaigns for animated films. Berthe Siward launched the platform initially to give visibility to shorts, which rarely get shown in theaters even in the best of times.
“But with Covid and the closure of cinemas,” he tells Cartoon Brew, “naturally I’m super happy to be able to help a deserving feature (with its super message and super visuals) get distributed within our animation community, on a platform that I conceived and built for optimal online streaming.”
Calamity was released theatrically in France in October, grossing more than USD$1 million before cinemas shut. The film, which is produced by Maybe Movies (Zombillenium) and Denmark’s Nørlum (Song of the Sea), is represented in international markets by Indie Sales. A spin-off tv series is in the works.
Meanwhile, the Animation Showcase platform is also hosting the ten animated shorts still in the running for this year’s Oscar. As far as we know, this is the first time the entire shortlist in this category has been available to stream in one place (outside the Academy’s own screening room). The platform also features other recent short films and various behind-the-scenes materials.
To apply for access, click here. Calamity and the shortlisted shorts will be available until the Oscar nominations are announced on March 15.