Watch: Fascinating Oscar Short-Listed Animated Short ‘Letter to a Pig’
by Alex Billington
January 5, 2024
“I can’t forget how you accepted me so naturally… I felt that, more than any person, it was YOU who actually saw me.” This highly acclaimed animated short film is included on the shortlist for the Oscars this year. It originally premiered in 2022, but made the cut for 2023 and will likely end up nominated later this month. Letter to a Pig is an animated short film created by Israeli artist / filmmaker Tal Kantor. After playing on the festival circuit for years, Short of the Week has premiered the full 16 minute short online to watch. A Holocaust survivor reads a letter he wrote to the pig who saved his life while on the run in WWII. A young schoolgirl hears his testimony in her class and sinks into an inner dark journey, where she confronts questions of identity as the boundary between animalism and the extremes of human nature blurs. It’s a fascinating short because it’s not what you’re expecting just from that intro – there’s much more going on in it. The animation is also distinct, so much detail in every line & every paint stroke. Definitely worth a watch.
Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip on this one. Intro from YouTube: “A Holocaust survivor writes, after the war, a thank-you letter to a pig that saved his life. After his testimony in a classroom, a young student dreams a tragic version of his story. Beyond her personal vision, the film explores the themes of collective trauma, vengeance, human evil and compassion.” Letter to a Pig, originally known as Brief an ein Schwein in German, is written and directed by Israeli animation filmmaker / artist Tal Kantor – you can see more of her work on her Vimeo page or visit her official website or follow her on IG @tal.kantor. It’s produced by Miyu Production & The Hive Studio – including Pierre Baussaron, Amit Gicelter, Emmanuel-Alain Raynal. With cinematography by Arbel Rom, and music by Pierre Oberkampf. This initially premiered in 2022 at the San Francisco Film Festival, and it also played at Annecy. Watch a behind-the-scenes video on Vimeo here. For more info on the film, visit SOTW or Tal’s website. To discover more shorts, click here. Your thoughts?