CATEGORY: Short Film (Live Action)
SPEECH BY: Mat Kirkby and James Lucas
FILM: THE PHONE CALL
Q. First of all, congratulations. One of our Facebook fans (name omitted) wants to know, "Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?"
A. (Mat Kirkby) I think we ‑‑ we're still starting out. We've only made a short, so we would like some advice from your Facebook people as well, please. It's taken us four years to get from pen and paper to making a short film. It doesn't get a release. It gets ‑‑ you have to play it on all the festivals, and now we find ourselves here. So, be tenacious, be patient, keep going.
(James Lucas) And be stubborn. Just go for it. Just do it, you know, literally, seriously, just do it.
Q. Congratulations on your superb film and your superb win. ShortsHD released THE PHONE CALL across 500 cinemas in the U.S. What do you feel that such exposure means to you, as short filmmakers, and also what does this win mean to you now? And do you enjoy doing it?
A. (Mat Kirkby) Okay. We make short films in a bubble with no budget, and you just bring in favors from your friends. And then to find a company like ShortsHD to actually give you an audience, I never in my wildest dreams thought that our little film would be seen all across America, 500 screens, and people would see it. I was at home in bed the other night scrolling through the TV channels, and it popped up. I didn't pay for it. It was $5.99. I've already put, I think, enough into this project. But I would've, if I was you lot. So, thank you. Thank you, ShortsHD.
(James Lucas) And just quickly to add to that as well. ShortsHD gives short films a voice.
Q. Mat and James, congratulations. Tim Masters BBC News. Mat, I mean, you had to sell your car to make this film. And you had to wait for Woody Allen to finish with Sally Hawkins on BLUE JASMINE before you could have her.
A. (Mat Kirkby) That sounds rude.
Q. I guess things are going to change for you. How do you hope this Oscar win will help you make that leap into feature films?
A. (Mat Kirkby) Well, I hope it gives us a springboard into feature films. We worked really bloody hard to get this far. And we made a lot of sacrifices, and also all of the people that helped us along the way have made sacrifices. Everybody worked for nothing and gave their talent for free with the hope that we'd just make something that we were proud of. So, we hoped to make more things we're proud of, but maybe this time some production companies will pay us to make them and give us a budget. We hope we've proved what we can do with no budget, and it would be nice to prove what we can do with the help of a bigger team.
Q. Our editor, Michelle, interviewed you, and you talked about a feature script you are working on. So how do you think your win might affect that project?
A. (Mat Kirkby) Well, luckily, we were waiting so long to get Sally Hawkins, we waited a year, literally waited a year. So, during that time, we kept busy, and we are both in Hollywood now with feature scripts under our arms touting for business. So, if there's any producers out there who would like to read a script by an Oscar winning short filmmaker who would like to make a feature film, then just get in contact with us.
(James Lucas) Man, that sounds good.
Q. Congratulations. I'm from Israel actually, and we had AYA nominated in a category.
A. (Mat Kirkby) I loved that film.
Q. Did you watch that? That was my question. And this category this year really felt like sort of short foreign film kind of category. Could you talk about that aspect of being not Americans?
A. (Mat Kirkby) I don't see any of it as nationality‑based whatsoever. It's stories. At no point have we thought we are from one country and they are from another. AYA, I cried at that. PARVANEH, I cried at that. BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM I thought was a stunning piece of film, and BUTTER LAMP was utterly charming. And I would have been super proud if anyone one of them had won. So, I don't look at anybody based on their nationality; purely on the fact that we are a brotherhood of storytellers.
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