Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Director Timothy Reckart's Academy Award®-nominated short animated film, "Head Over Heels" (headoverheelsfilm.com), won a 2013 Annie Award (annieawards.org) on Saturday night, February 2nd, at the 40th Annual Annie Awards--internationally recognized as the most prestigious animation awards in the world--in Los Angeles, CA. Reckart, 26, is a student at the UK's world-renowned National Film And Television School (NFTS), which is continuing to uphold its track record of producing animation projects that garner Oscar recognition. The school has also turned out successful graduates, including cinematographer Roger Deakins and composer Dario Marianelli (both are also Academy Award-nominated this year), and the Academy Award-winning Nick Park (Aardman Animations).
Nick Park, who created his famous "Wallace and Gromit" characters for his graduation film at the NFTS 30 years ago, said, "'Head Over Heels' is one of those stand-out little gems that doesn't come around that often. It's a cleverly conceived but simple idea--a clear and inventively told story--very poignant and full of heart. I'm not surprised Timothy Reckart is winning awards with 'Head Over Heels'--much deserved."
In his acceptance speech, Reckart said, "It's really an honor to get this Annie Award from ASIFA Hollywood, from all the voters who watched the films, because you are so passionate about animation. I've been really proud of the last decade of work that animation artists have been doing, especially this past year in stop motion--I'm really proud to be a part of that."
Reckart was referring to the fact that 2012 marked the first time that three stop motion animated feature films--"Frankenweenie," "Paranorman" and "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"--were released in one year. The fact that all three are also Oscar-nominated sets an all-time record.
The prize was presented by legendary voice actor Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh, Tigger) and "The Simpson's" creator Matt Groening. In attendance were the directors of "Paranorman," "Wreck-It Ralph," "Rise of the Guardians," as well as independent New York animator Bill Plympton.
NFTS director Nik Powell says, "For one of our graduation films to receive an Annie, the pinnacle of animation awards, we hope this win gives 'Head Over Heels' the momentum to get their extraordinarily human and humorous film noticed by Academy voters. Tim and Fodhla richly deserve the success and credit their film is receiving."
The film has also been nominated for an Academy Award, alongside major studio films from Disney and Fox, for Best Animated Short Film.
Reckart is currently in development on two animated feature films and an animated television series.
Reckart wrote and directed "Head Over Heels," along with producer and fellow student Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly. The two enlisted a large crew of students to bring Reckart's vision to life, which was inspired by a Rembrandt painting.
The short, which captures the emotional distance between a long-married husband and wife, illustrated by one living on the ceiling and one living on the floor, is the third NFTS film to be nominated in the animated short film category since 2005.
The film can be seen at select theaters as part of the Shorts Program being distributed by ShortsHD The Short Movie Channel and Magnolia Pictures. "The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2013" is showing in more than 260 theaters across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. A key fixture of the awards season, the theatrical release featuring Live Action, Animation, and Documentary short films is the only opportunity for audiences around the country to watch the nominated shorts prior to the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on February 24.
Editor's Note: Online Press Screenings are available upon request.
About The National Film and Television School
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is the UK's centre of excellence for graduate film and TV training. It selects the most talented people to enter the film, games and television industry at a professional level and is ranked as one of the top film schools in the world by The Hollywood Reporter in its annual survey of Film Schools. Interesting factoids include: NFTS has averaged just shy of one Oscar or Bafta nomination every year for the past 40 years; NFTS has had three short films nominated for an Academy Award in the past seven years; NFTS students have won over 200 awards in the past year alone (2012); 10 NFTS graduates have been nominated in this year's 2013 Oscars and Baftas, and 127 other graduates are credited in Oscar and Bafta nominated films; the NFTS Animation department is part of the main school, not separate as it is in most schools; the NFTS is a Skillset Film Media Academy and its MA courses are recognized by the Royal College of Art. Visit www.nfts.co.uk for more information or join us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Timothy Reckart
Timothy Reckart is an animator and director specializing in stop motion animation. He has a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MA in directing animation from the National Film and Television School. His debut short, "Head Over Heels," has been nominated for an Academy Award. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Reckart lives in New York City.
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Source:National Film & Television School