The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for this year’s Oscars on Tuesday, and as expected, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri led the pack in what has shaped up to be a banner year for both big-budget commercial blockbusters and quieter independent films.
There were a few surprises, of course, but perhaps the most pleasant one belonged to the category of Animated Shorts, which included films like “Garden Party,” “Lou,” “Negative Space,” “Revolting Rhymes,” and “Dear Basketball.”
That’s right. The short film that Kobe Bryant — together with Disney animator Glen Keane — produced based on his eponymous 2015 poem has been nominated for an Academy Award, the significance of which wasn’t lost on the Lakers legend.
Here’s the film in its entirety, which originally debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and aired again at Kobe’s jersey retirement ceremony at Staples Center last month.
Kobe has been staying busy in retirement, and the five-time champ has said on previous occasions that he has a keen interest in film-making. An Oscar nod for the Mamba could very well be the catalyst for his second career as a big-wig Hollywood producer/director.