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Two Netflix shorts — one on the topic of police brutality and one on gun violence — were honored Sunday at the Oscars.
If Anything Happens I Love You — which follows two parents grieving the loss of their child in a school shooting — won the Oscar for best animated short, while Two Distant Strangers collected the Academy Award for a live-action short.
Writer-director Travon Free, who became the first Black winner in this category, and director Martin Desmond Roe accepted the award for Two Distant Strangers, which addresses the topic with the story of a Black man who is in a time loop in which he keeps dying at the hands of a police officer.
‘Today the police will kill three people, and tomorrow the police will kill three people… because on average the police in America every day kill three people, which amounts to about a thousand people a year. And those people are disproportionately Black people,” Free said, accepting the Oscar on stage. “James Baldwin once said the most despicable thing a person can be is indifferent to other people’s pain … Please don’t be indifferent to our pain.”
Backstage, Gilbert Film’s If Anything Happens writers and directors Will McCormack and Michael Govier talked about how the topic is sadly relevant. McCormack emphasized that with the story, they “wanted to talk about grief and loss, and stay out of the politics. … We want people to open up and not be numb, [not] normalize this behavior.”
Govier added that they made it about “one person’s story” because “these are not numbers, these are humans.”
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