Bear Story from Chile
“Bear Story”, a short film also known as Historia de un Oso, is one of the Oscar nominations for Short Film (Animated). Every day, a melancholy old bear takes a mechanical diorama that he has created out to his street corner. For a coin, passersby can look into the peephole of his invention, which tells the story of a circus bear who longs to escape and return to the family from which he was taken. PunkRobot Studio, the production company behind Bear Story, has a microsite dedicated to the film: bearstory.cl. Director Gabriel, who developed the concept behind the film, writes about the connection between this family and his own experience of being separated from his grandfather during Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile.
Watch the Bear Story trailer.
See behind-the-scenes in PunkRobot’s Making-Of video.
Animation was produced at Punkrobot Studio, Santiago, Chile, by director Gabriel Osorio with executive producer/editor Pato Escala, production designer/concept artist Antonia Herrera, concept artist Mari Soto-Aguilar, screenwriter Daniel Castro. Music is by Chile duo Dënver.
My grandfather, Leopoldo Osorio, was detained on 1973, during Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile. He was incarcerated for two years, after which he fled to England, forced to live in exile and be apart from his family. During my childhood I felt the invisible presence of an absent grandfather, who was not dead, but was not present in my life. My short film Bear Story is not about the life of my grandfather, but it is inspired by his absence and the mark it left on me.
Bear Story leaves some questions unanswered. What happened to the bear’s family? Where are they? These are the same questions that thousands of families ask themselves, who up to this day still don’t know where their loved ones ended up. I hope these questions never need to be asked again.
This short film is the result of over two years of hard work. Some of the best Chilean animators and artists came together to make it happen. I sincerely hope that Bear Story reminds the audience of their loved ones and their significance in their lives.
Bear Story has won over 50 international awards, including “Best Animation” Palm Springs Shortfest, “Grand Jury Prize” Nashville Film Festival, 2015, “Best Animated Short” RiverRun Film Festival 2015, “Best Animated Short” CIFF, Cleveland Ohio, 2015, “Best Animation” DCIFF, Washington DC, 2015, “Best International Film”, Little Big Shots, Australia, 2015, “Best Animation” AluCine Latin Film Festival, Canada 2015, “Junior Audience Award” HAFF, Holland, 2015, “Audience Award” Klik! Festival, Amsterdam, November 2014, “Grand Prize” Kuandu International Festival, Taiwan, September 2014, “Grand Prize” Animasyros, Greece, August 2014, “Best Children’s Short Film” Animamundi, August 2014, “Best Art Direction”, Animamundi, August 2014, “Best Shortfilm”, SANFIC, Chile, October 2014, and “Best National Short Film” Chilemonos, May 2014.