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Just three days before the Oscars, Harvey Weinstein took some time to support a handful of short films and the directors who brought them to life.
The Weinstein Co. teamed up with Lexus to host the Lexus Short Films event Thursday at DGA Theater in Los Angeles. The event showcased five short films and highlighted the directors behind the projects, each with a different cultural background. The directors were handpicked to create an original short film between three and six minutes, showcasing the theme of the series: “Life Is Amazing.”
Weinstein — an executive producer on best picture Oscar nominees Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained — and Weinstein Co. COO David Glasser attended the event, Feb. 21, along with David O. Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of Silver Lining’s Playbook, and Chris Tucker, one of the film’s co-stars.
“I am a huge Harvey Weinstein fan,” tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Harvey Weinstein supported me as an emerging filmmaker when I made my second film, Flirting With Disaster. And even when I made my first short film, one of my first meetings I ever had with a producer was with Harvey Weinstein at his first little dingy office near Times Square.”
Russell, whose film nabbed eight Oscar nominations, including best picture, tells THR he’s “excited to just be a part” of this Sunday’s big awards event.
“What’s special about Harvey, especially here with Lexus, is that he creates a feeling of, ‘come into a very special theater and see a very special cinema experience,’ ” Russell said. “That’s what’s helped so many audiences want to see our film. You have to create an enchantment of interest around a mythology that makes a film feel mythological, and that’s what this is doing for these young filmmakers.”
One of the night featured directors was American Justin Tipping, who’s Swimming in Air is about children falling in love. He said that when taking the series’ theme into consideration, “Immediately I had an image that came into my mind of a kid flying. I think everyone has always felt like your imagination when you’re a kid; you can do so many things with that.”
Spanish director Cristina Molino’s Beyond Memories delves into what she calls the “impossibility of forgetting someone.” She doesn’t think that the film is solely based on her culture.
“I think nowadays, we receive a lot of influence from all over the world,” Molino tells THR. “So I think I have a real big mix of different things from different places. I don’t think it’s only Spanish, my influence. It’s a mix of a lot of places I’ve been.”
Directors Campbell Hooper and Joel Kefali‘s short, Echoes, is about six seemingly disconnected characters who eventually connect through abstract moments. Japanese director Mitsuyo Miyazaki hasn’t even began filming her short yet, but it will mix live action with animation. Koji Morimoto will be responsible for the animation part, and Miyazaki says he’s “one of the most respected animators in the world.”
Actors Navid Negahban (Homeland), Nichole Galicia (Django Unchained) and Kandyse McClure (Battlestar Galactica) also stopped by the event.
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