Academy Award Nominated Director Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship
Partners With Distinguished Animated Short Producer to Make New Short Film

San Francisco, CA – Academy Award® nominated Director Mark Osborne and Karen Dufilho-Rosen, producer of several Academy Award® winning animated short films, announced their partnership today in Los Angeles. The duo, which will make The Better Half a stop-motion animated short film, also announced that Osborne received a 2004/2005 Guggenheim Fellowship to partially fund the making of the new short film.

“This new short is a seven-minute film to be realized in stop-motion animation. It is an intimate portrait of someone so in need of a companion that he takes material from his own clay puppet body to create a friend in his own image. The story is an allegory of co-dependency and of the complicated and sometimes fragile nature of relationships.” said Osborne.

“Mark is a recognized figure in animation and The Better Half is the next step in his growth as both an artist and a director,” said Dufilho-Rosen. “We’re very excited to be working together and the Guggenheim Fellowship is a great start for this project. We look forward to finding other supporters to help us bring The Better Half to life.”

Osborne directed the Academy Award nominated animated short film, More. It was the first fully animated, stop-motion film to be presented for exhibition in IMAX 70/15p format. An acclaimed film both in the US and internationally, More won numerous awards including the Best Short at Sundance ’99, Grand Jury Prize at the USA Film Fest ‘99, SXSW Best Animated Short, the ResFest Audience Grand Prize ‘99, ASIFA Annie Awards Nominee ’99, the Critics Week selection for CANNES ’99 and a dozen others.

In addition to working as a director in Feature Animation Development at DreamWorks, Osborne has just completed directing the live action sequences for the 2004 release of the first full-length feature film of SpongeBob Squarepants – the popular television show.

Karen Dufilho-Rosen produced the Academy Award winning short films For the Birds and Geri’s Game for Pixar Animation Studios. As head of Pixar’s Shorts department, Karen supervised feature film promotional productions and Pixar franchise related projects. She produced the outtakes for A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc , and was responsible for Pixar’s short film slate including the 2003 Academy Award nominated short film Mike’s New Car.

Guggenheim Fellowships are grants to selected individuals made for a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months. The average amount of a Fellowship grant in 2003 was approximately $35,747.

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