Perth artist-turned-director Shaun Tan has tonight been nominated for an Academy Award in the category that won Australian film Harvie Krumpet an Oscar in 2004.
Tan and co-director Andrew Ruhemann are nominated for their film The Lost Thing based on a Tan picture book.
The 15-minute film is one of five to receive nominations for the short animation category which will be announced at The 83rd Academy Awards on February 27.
Tan was born in Fremantle in 1974, and freelanced for some years from a studio in Mount Lawley.
He bagged several international art and writing awards before relocating to Melbourne in 2007.
Australia Day arrived 24 hours early at the Oscars when Tan’s nomination was added to:
. Nicole Kidman’s for best leading actress in her role in Rabbit Hole;
. Geoffrey Rush’s for best supporting actor in his superlative performance in The King’s Speech; and
. Jacki Weaver’s for best supporting actress in her role in Animal Kingdom.
Capping off Australia’s six nominations were Rising Sun Pictures which worked on the nominated visual effects for Harry Potter 7.1 and Iron Man, and producer Emile Sherman nominated for The King’s Speech.
Tan and Ruhemann’s The Lost Thing was produced over eight years from 2002 and features a mix of computer animated and hand-painted elements.
“I’ve been very involved in this project as a director, writer, designer and artist, working with a small team – primarily four people – in a Melbourne-based studio (one reason for my relocation to this city in 2007),” Tan said recently.
“In re-creating the story from the ground up, we’ve elaborated some aspects of the ‘Lost thing universe’ which could not be entirely expressed within the confines of the original 32-page book.
“In fact, I always saw the story in my imagination as a short film or theatrical piece, where the book presents us with a set of stills from some larger production.”
Released by Madman Entertainment, The Lost Thing was adapted by Ruhemann’s London-based Passion Pictures.
The last Western Australian to receive an Oscar nomination was the late Heath Ledger – who won posthumously in 2009 for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
Tan returns to Perth regularly to visit family and meet winners of the annual City of Subiaco art prize that bears his name.