CULTURE

Timecode, in search of an Oscar

The Raspall Bar in Gràcia is lucky for Juanjo Giménez. That's where he celebrated, with his family and team, the Palma d'Or that he won in May with the live action short film Timecode, and it was the meeting place, once again, for the announcement of the Oscar nominations. "We get together here every time the short wins 10 awards, and now it's up to 70. It’s our lucky charm! So said the exultant Giménez, happy to know that he has made history, and on February 26th will compete in the Oscar gala. His is the first Catalan short film to be nominated for the Academy Awards in Hollywood, and the seventh for Spanish cinema. If it were to win, it would be the first to take home the statuette.

Timecode is a small narrative jewel about two parking lot security guards who only see each other a few minutes every day, just long enough to exchange a few words when one's shift ends and the other's begins. Between the two, however, an unexpected relationship emerges based on body language. The two protagonists are both choreographers with no experience in cinema: the dancer and choreographer Lali Ayguadé and Nicolás Riccini, who Giménez discovered on a television dance program. The idea behind Timecode came to him when he was thinking about the time he worked for a multinational firm and his boss caught him writing scripts during office hours. "The short isn't creative vengeance, I got over that —he laughs—. Besides, you can learn something creative from any experience".

"We're going to win”

Giménez is planning to attend the nominees' breakfast to be held in Los Angeles on February 6th, and support the presence of Timecode in Los Angeles as much as possible. "When they selected our film for the Oscars "short list", we hired a person to handle PR in Hollywood”, he explained. “The Academy tightly controls the amount of promotion that can be done, but we are trying to campaign for our short as much as possible”.

The celebration of Catalan cinema could have been even bigger if the other live action short film pre-selected for the "short list", " Graffiti, by Lluís Quílez, had also received a nomination. "Spanish short films are experiencing a splendid moment” —said Giménez-- “but we shouldn't focus on just the awards. There is a very diverse and high quality range of films, not just shorts like Graffiti or mine". As to his possibilities at the Oscars, he is optimistic. "The other shorts are very good, but we're going to win", he said. And if they succeed, one thing is clear: they will celebrate it at the Raspall Bar.

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