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“Traces”, an animated film produced by Les Films du Nord, shortlisted for the Oscars


The animated short film made with oil paint and sand on glass tells the imaginary story of the author of the cave paintings of the Chauvet cave. He is shortlisted for the Oscars.

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It is insane work, which required infinite resilience from its authors to complete their project. The 13 minutes of the wonderful animated film “Traces” took five years of work.

This short film tells the imaginary story of prehistoric man, the author of cave paintings of lionesses in the Chauvet cave. The strength of this animated film lies in the beauty of these images which have been drawn from oil paint and grains of sand assembled and scattered on a glass plate during the actions of “Traces”.

“It’s a kind of fine black sand that I place on the glass plate. I push the material and, there, I can catch a bison’s head for example. People who use sand often do metamorphoses”, says Hugo Frassetto, the director, whom we met in his studio.

"Traces", a prehistoric animated film from Films du Nord pre-selected for the Oscars

For Arnaud Demyunck, who produced the short film for Les Films du Nord, this painstaking work is exceptional. “It’s a huge job where there was suffering, difficulties. There were also doubts. So obviously, when there is recognition by the profession of animation with the Oscars, it is an extraordinary reward for all the efforts that have been made “.

The project was born in the eyes of Sophie Tavert-Macian, screenwriter and co-director, while she was still a student in art history. The projection of cave paintings in the Chauvet cave particularly moved her. “I don’t know why, I started to cry on my own in the back of my lecture hall because I really believed that these prehistoric lionesses, these 36,000 year old lionesses, were crying. The power of that image, that’s what made me want to tell the story of the artist who painted it “.

After the short film was shortlisted in the “animated films” category at the Oscars, the “Traces” team is now awaiting the official selection of the American academy which will be unveiled on March 15th.

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