Academy Awards: 2 films with St. Louis ties get Oscar nominations

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ST. LOUIS — A short documentary chronicling the life of Ferguson activist and former state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., called “St. Louis Superman,” and “Hair Love,” which was co-produced by St. Louis-based Lion Forge Animation, were nominated for Academy Awards Monday morning.

“St. Louis Superman” is one of five films to be nominated for an Academy Award in the “best documentary short subject” category, while “Hair Love” was nominated in the “best animated short film” category.

Created by filmmakers Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, “St. Louis Superman” is a 30-minute documentary on Franks, a rapper and Ferguson activist who was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2016. The film focuses on Franks’ efforts to pass legislation declaring youth violence as a public health epidemic as he endured his own personal traumas. Franks resigned from his seat in May saying he wanted to focus on his own mental health and family.

READ MORE: Oscars 2020: Full List of Nominees

Earlier this year, it was selected as one of two debut productions for MTV’s new documentary film division. It aired on the network earlier this fall. It also won jury prize for Best Documentary Short at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Short at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the Audience Award for Best Short at AFI Docs and the Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival, according to a MTV news release from July.

“Hair Love” is an animated short by debut artist Matthew Cherry that broke Kickstarter records before being picked up by Sony Pictures Animation. The film tells the story of a black father struggling to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.

Sony Pictures Animation was searching for additional funding to complete production when it came across news stories about Lion Forge Animation, a St. Louis-based animation studio launched earlier this year with a focus on stories from diverse content creators.

The company, led by David Steward Jr. and Carl Reed, provided what Sony Pictures executive Karen Toliver referred to as “finishing funds,” helping to complete production of “Hair Love,” which hit theaters in August with the Sony Pictures Animation feature “Angry Birds 2.”

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 9.

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Editor is St Louis Media, LLC (STLM). STLM is a web hosting, design, SEO, press release distribution company and news agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. We own and operate multiple news sites in the region. Our objective with STLNewsMissouri.com is to offer readers a one-stop news site for Missouri news. We aggregate news from news media across the state. We do not aggregate news from all sources. We pick from those that offer RSS feeds and pick the best with eliminating those that might produce the same news stories, written differently.
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