Utah produced ‘Ninety-Five Senses,’ gets Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short

Jan 23, 2024, 4:45 PM | Updated: 5:09 pm

Utah produced animated short film "Ninety-Five Senses" was nominated for an Oscar on Jan. 23, 2024....

Utah produced animated short film "Ninety-Five Senses" was nominated for an Oscar on Jan. 23, 2024. (Courtesy MAST)

(Courtesy MAST)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah had a lot to celebrate with Tuesday’s announcement that short film “Ninety-Five Senses” was one of five animated short films nominated for an Academy Award.

The film, directed by Utah’s Jerusha Hess and Jared Hess, comes as their film “Napoleon Dynamite” is being celebrated as part of the 40th edition of the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. They attended BYU.

Jared Hess, Tim Blake Nelson and Jerusha Hess attend the screening and Q and A For “Ninety-Five Senses” on Nov. 09, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Unique Nicole/Getty Images)

The film was also produced through the Salt Lake Film Society’s MAST program, intended to mentor emerging filmmakers who are particularly focused on animation. It features six different animation styles by six different artists. The SLFS was founded in 2001, centered at the Tower Theater and Brodway Centre Cinemas, both in Salt Lake City.

“The majority of the artists, filmmakers and crew are local to Utah,” MAST co-founder Miles David Romney said. “The goal of our MAST project is to create artists entrepreneurs and nurture the industry of animation in our state.”

The short film has screened at nearly 40 film festivals according to a release from Tori Baker, founder and a producer of the MAST program. A full list of its awards can be found here.

“All the staff, board and volunteers at Salt Lake Film Society are simply ecstatic about the Oscar nomination,” Baker said.

The film qualified for its Oscar nomination by winning the Grand Jury Award for Best Animation at the Florida Film Festival. The film is told by a man facing his own mortality. It is voiced by actor Tim Blake Nelson, best known for “O Brother Where Are Thou,” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” and HBO’s “Watchmen,” series.

He wrote and directed “Eye of God” that was a 1997 nominee for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize.

“Ninety-Five Senses” was written by Chris Bowman and Hubbel Palmer. MAST is a non-profit organization. You can view the film here.

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Utah produced ‘Ninety-Five Senses,’ gets Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short