‘The Eleven O’Clock’. 

Director Derin Seale’s The Eleven O’Clock and Sean Meehan’s Lost Face have both been shortlisted in the live-action short film category at the 90th annual Academy Awards.

The two films are among the 10 finalists out of a record 165 shorts that qualified in the category.

The Short Films and Feature Animation branch members will go on to select the five final nominees, to be announced on January 23, 2018, ahead of the ceremony on March 4 (US time).

Produced by Seale, writer and star Josh Lawson, and Karen Bryson, The Eleven O’Clock is a self-funded short comedy that follows a delusional patient of a psychiatrist who believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they both attempt to treat each other, the session spirals increasingly out of control. Damon Herriman plays opposite Lawson, and Alyssa McClelland also stars.

Last week, the film won the AACTA Award For Best Short Fiction Film.

Director Seale is a long-time friend of both Lawson and Herriman, and told IF earlier this year that he had been looking to find the right opportunity to work with both actors for a while. Lawson originally wrote and presented The Eleven O’Clock as a play, but they realised together there was scope for a film.

“It just worked out that this was the perfect story; meaning that it was a two hander in a small space. It was something that we could just do for fun. And it really started out about that, it wasn’t really about proof of filmmaking. It was really about three friends who just wanted to work together,” he told IF in January.

From Australian husband-and-wife team, writer-director Meehan and producer Sam McGarry, Lost Face is based on a short story by Jack London set in mid-1800s Russian America.

It follows Subienkow, who finds himself the second-to-last survivor of a group of Russian fur-thieves who have just been defeated by liberators from the local tribe they have enslaved as forced labour. Now Subienkow faces a long, protracted and painful death unless he can come up with a plan for escape. It stars Gerald Auger (Hell on Wheels), Martin Dubreuil (Felix Et Meira) and Morris Birdyellowhead (Apocalypto).

Last week it was announced that Aussie short Lost Property Office, from writer-director Daniel Agdag and producer Liz Kearney, has been shortlisted in the animated short-film category.

The 10 finalists are:

DeKalb Elementary, Reed Van Dyk, director (UCLA)

The Eleven O’Clock, Derin Seale, director (FINCH)

Facing Mecca, Jan-Eric Mack, director, and Joël Jent, producer (Dschoint Ventschr

Icebox, Daniel Sawka, director, and Camille Cornuel, producer (Iceboxthefilmco)

Lost Face, Sean Meehan, director, and Sam McGarry, producer (Soma Films)

My Nephew Emmett, Kevin Wilson, Jr., director (New York University)

Rise of a Star, James Bort, director, and Boris Mendza, producer (Fulldawa Films)

The Silent Child, Chris Overton, director, and Rachel Shenton, writer (Slick Films)

Watu Wote/All of Us, Katja Benrath, director (Hamburg Media School)

Witnesses, David Koch, director (Lux for Film, Diez Films and Paradoxal)

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