Emily Carr graduates nab Oscar nomination, face interesting competition

Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis are up for a golden statue in the Animated Short Film category.

Oscar nomination

Credit: NFB

Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis are up for a golden statue in the Animated Short Film category

Most years when the Academy Award nominations come out, Canadians are well represented. That’s no different this time around, with heavyweights like Brendan Fraser, James Cameron and Sarah Polley taking the spotlight. Notably, however, there’s a lack of Vancouverites and BCers nominated in 2023. 

In past years, Vancouverites have done well in the special effects and animation categories—no surprise due to the number of studios dedicated to those crafts in the city. Recent examples include Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning Best Animated Feature in 2019, as well as Dune’s Best Visual Effects win last year. 

As far as we can tell, though, there aren’t any Oscar nominees that Vancouver can claim. (Ryan Reynolds was totally snubbed for his work in The Adam Project.) There are, however, a pair of nominees that may owe at least part of their careers to the city.  

Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, a pair of Alberta natives who met while studying at Emily Carr University, were nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category for The National Film Board-produced short The Flying Sailor.

It’s the third nomination in the category for the pair—they were previously considered for Wild Life (2012) and When The Day Breaks (2000). Tilby was also nominated independently for the animated short Strings (1992). Neither has ever won the coveted golden statue.  

“We are absolutely blown away by this fabulous news and, like our sailor, we’re flying high!” said Tilby and Forbis in a release. “The National Film Board of Canada has our endless gratitude for their unwavering support, and for making films like ours possible in the first place. We share this honour with our stellar creative team, especially producer David Christensen and sound designer Luigi Allemano.” 

The Flying Sailor was inspired by the true-life story of a man blown two kilometres through the air by the 1917 Halifax Explosion—the largest accidental non-nuclear explosion in history.

The Animated Short category at this year’s Oscars has to be in the conversation for the most interestingly named collection of films ever, as The Flying Sailor goes up against The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Ice Merchants, My Year of Dicks and An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It.

You can watch The Flying Sailor here.