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Aussie couple seeks Academy Awards glory
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17.12.2018

Aussie couple seeks Academy Awards glory

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Australian filmmaking couple Sean Meehan and Sam McGarry would like to find a time machine to fast forward their lives to January 23.

On that date, at the crack of dawn in Beverly Hills, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce if their acclaimed film Lost Face is one of this year's Oscar nominees.

"We are dying a little death every day," Meehan, describing their nervous wait for the Oscar nomination ceremony, told AAP.
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"Nervous?" McGarry deadpanned.

"We're trying not to take up day drinking."

The Los Angeles-based writer-director Meehan and producer McGarry have a great chance of hearing their names called out in the live action short film category.
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The Academy confirmed just before Christmas the 14-minute long Lost Face was one of 10 films still in contention in the category from a record list of 165 entries.

Meehan and McGarry were in Lisbon, Portugal, about to go to bed in their hotel suite after a long day shooting a TV commercial for a multinational corporation when the Academy announced they made the short-list.

"I had taken two Melatonin because I was so over the day we just had and I quickly checked my emails and there was the email," McGarry said.
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"Sean said, 'We have to go to the bar!'

"I said, 'I've just taken two Melatonin!'"

At the January 23 Academy nomination ceremony the 10 will be cut to the five that will compete at the March 4 Oscars.
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The back story to how Meehan and McGarry made Lost Face is almost as compelling as the the film's plot.

The couple, who have a 10-year-old daughter Ruby, took a major gamble by pouring $A100,000 of their life savings into the film that was shot entirely outdoors in minus 14C weather at the snow-laden base of the Canadian Rockies.

Based on author Jack London's short story of the same name, the film is set in the mid-1800s and follows the plight of Russian fur thieves captured by members of a North American tribe.
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It also had the tightest of tight schedules, with only enough money for a three-day shoot and because it was winter there were only seven hours of daylight each day.

Lost Face has won 46 awards at film festivals around the world.

The couple has carved out careers making TV commercials across the globe for corporations including McDonald's, Volkswagen and Samsung, but they hope an Oscar nomination will help Hollywood studios and actors give them a shot at making feature films.
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"The main reason we did the short in the first place was to use it as a vehicle to show actors we can do something that is longer than 30 seconds," McGarry said.
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