A Short Animated Film by UDLA Professors, “Bear Story,” Wins 2016 Oscar

A historic victory for the Chilean film industry took place during the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Gabriel Osorio and Patricio Escala, two professors at Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA) received an Oscar for their short film, ‘Bear Story.’

During their acceptance speech, Osorio dedicated the award to his grandfather and to all of those who suffered exile from Chile. Escala, producer of the short film, followed-up and stated that the award meant so much to the country of Chile, especially since it was the country’s first Oscar award. The Oscar nomination and award was the result of more than four years of work, including the creation of the script and the production of the animation. 

The film was inspired by the exile of Osorio’s grandfather and the creation of the short animated film was very personal to him. “My grandfather, Leopoldo Osorio, was exiled during the dictatorship and forced to live far from his home country and his people. During my childhood, I always had the presence of having a grandfather that was not dead, but also not present in my life. ‘Bear Story’ is not about the life of my grandfather, but of the invisible imprint that exile created in our family.”

Punkrobot Studio created the short animated film with the support of the National Council of Culture and Arts (NCCA), UDLA and Corfo. It was directed by Osorio and produced by Escala. It is the only short animated film to be nominated in the category from Latin America and was selected from 60 international short animated films.  

The project also received support from UDLA through a partnership with Punkrobot Studio that was launched seven years ago to support digital animation in Chile. According to UDLA’s rector, Pilar Armanet, “The UDLA community, especially the School of Digital Animation, is so very proud that ‘Bear Story’ has received an Oscar. The film represents four years of intense work by talented professors and alumni to create a moving story.”