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'Groundhog Day' Meets 'Back to the Future' in Oscar-Nominated 'Time Freak' (Plus Watch Creators Learn of Their Oscar Nod)

Posted by Erik Davis on February 09, 2012

When it comes to the Academy Awards, we get months of back-and-forth between critics and "Oscar gurus" and all those crazy people who spend way too much time obsessing over an awards show, and yet rarely do any of them pay attention to the lesser categories, like, say, the short films. And this year there are some really fantastic short films nominated for an Academy Award. Good news is all of the shorts are being made available to you beforehand, screening in a variety of theater venues as well as On Demand and on iTunes. We strongly recommend you cough up the few bucks to watch them all.

While we'll do our best to highlight ones we enjoyed the most prior to the Oscar ceremony, today we wanted to focus on one, Time Freak, which is nominated in the best live-action shorts category. Easily one of the nerdiest shorts up for an Oscar this year, Time Freak combines Groundhog Day and Back to the Future in a story about a guy who successfully creates a time machine, but because of his neurosis he winds up spending all his time traveling back to yesterday in an attempt to get the day right.

It's a fun short, especially for fans of those two films I just mentioned. It also feels like an idea that could be stretched out to feature length and shot on a reasonably low budget. Part of why we wanted to call attention to it is because the short -- which only has its trailer available to watch online (see it below) -- also comes with this adorable video of director Andrew Bowler and producer Gigi Causey learning of their Oscar nomination for the first time, on camera.

With all these lame stories and boring pull-quotes from big stars on the morning they learn of their Oscar nod, it's truly refreshing to see a couple of up-and-coming filmmakers experience what will probably go down as one of the greatest moments of their lives. Now if only they had a time machine to go back and keep reliving it over and over and over ... ah, you get the joke.



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