Original title: Negative Space
France, 2017, 5 min.
Director: Ru Kuwahata, Max Porter
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Age recommendation: 8 years and up
Film genre: Animation
Negative Space tells the bittersweet story of a relationship between a father and his son, Sam. Always leaving on business trips, the father connects with Sam by teaching him how to pack a suitcase efficiently.
“Negative Space,” co-directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, is an adaptation of the poem by Ron Koertge. The poem’s tale about a boy who connects with his father by learning to pack a suitcase touched each of the filmmakers in different ways.
For Kuwahata, it was especially personal. “As an airline pilot, my father traveled often when I was growing up. I don’t really remember things like trips to the zoo or theme parks, but the image of him packing a crisp, white shirt is burned in my memory,” she recalls. “I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study. My most vivid childhood memories are connected with objects, textures, and ordinary routines.”
Nomination for Best Animated Short Film: 90th Academy Awards 2018