Multi-award-winning artistry, the holy grail of creators of imaginative visual feasts, is not only recognized by the industry, but also by the general public.
Every year avid film buffs scan the listings at the local indie theater, eagerly awaiting a showing of the Academy Award Winning shorts, both animated and live action.
The flicks are in the theater for only a few days and then disappear until the next year's shorts make an appearance, but with the proliferation of online video and DVDs, viewers can be inspired by award-winning videos of any genre around the clock. With sites such as Vimeo, which specializes in video artistry, everyone has a chance at recognition. YouTube also has an amazing selection of videos that are drenched with color, sound, emotion, and unique design.
Here are a few notable videos, easily found in public venues, that have won mulitple awards:
This animated short from Dutch film maker Michaël Dudok De Wit took the 2000 Academy Award for Animated Short Film along with some 20 other awards. It's beautiful to watch and deeply touching. The animation is simple but effective.
This won the 2004 Oscar for best documentary and gives viewers a look into the lives of children growing up in Calcutta's red light district who have been given cameras to document their daily activities and surroundings. Beauty, joy and innocence can be found in the most surprising circumstances. Slumdog Millionaire is fiction; this is real.
Do you know of a young film maker who needs inspiration? Screen this short documentary that won honors at the 2013 Heartland Film Festival and 2013 Shaftesbury Student Film Maker Awards. It tells the story of a Vietnamese family who fled their country after the Communists won the war and proves that with a great story, creativity and a minimal amount of equipment, a film maker can create powerful art.
If want to inspire the younger folks in your life, you can check out this award-winning DVD series. The popular series has scored many wins, including several Omni Awards, Telly Awards and Dove honors. The series also has several Creative Child Magazine "DVD of the Year" awards in its trophy case.
While the GiggleBellies videos are geared to younger children, this clever animation will be a hit with the proverbial "kids of all ages." Stop motion animation captures two bakers as they vie in the World's Greatest Cake Contest. It won Best Animated Short at the LaFemme Film Festival as well as Best Animated Short and the Audience Choice Award for Best Animation at the Jersey Shore Film Festival.
No, Jimmy Stewart is not featured in this 1995 Oscar winner, and don't expect many similarities between the Christmas movie and this short film beyond an old house. Poor old Franz Kafka is constantly interrupted as he tries to write his iconic Metamorphosis.
This is inspiring in a number of ways. It is the first film to win an Oscar for a live action short film. It also features Laurel and Hardy at their best. What is more inspiring and uplifting than a good laugh? This is truly a classic of American film history.
It would be too easy to say that this is the film you need to check out if you're looking for a short video with a lot of heart, so I won't go there. Heart won a number of awards in 2011 and 2012, and film maker Erick Oh received the support of Matt Groening of The Simpsons. By the way, Eric Oh has gone on to work on the animation teams of Brave, Monsters University and Cars 2. In Heart he examines the meaning of life. Wait, isn't that what Monsters University does?
Take a little time to enjoy and be inspired by these videos. Some contain messages that will make you think; others have pratfalls that will make you laugh; some may spark a new creative burst. All, as Martha Stewart would say, are good things.