The Dam Keeper, an Oscar-Nominated Short Tied to Colorado, Screens Here This Weekend

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One of the most rewarding film-industry moves of the last few years came when Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International partnered to release all of the Academy Award -nominated short films in theaters, so that movie fans can catch up on the nominees before the February 22 awards ceremony.

Starting Friday, you can see two of the Oscar-nominated packages, Animated and Live-Action, at Landmark's Chez Artiste Theater, and the much ballyhooed Documentary shorts will hit the Sie FilmCenter. There are great films in all of them, but the Animated Shorts category has a special Colorado connection.

See also: A Day in the Life of an Oscars Novice, by Saving Face producer Alison Greenberg.

Duncan Ramsay, a Fort Collins native and 2007 Colorado State University grad, is headed to the Academy Awards because his animated short film

The Dam Keeperis a nominee in that category

. Ramsay produced the eighteen-minute film with animators Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, whom he met while at Pixar Animation Studios, along with about seventy volunteers. (During his six-year tenure at Pixar, Ramsay worked on the films

Toy Story 3, Monsters University

and the upcoming

Inside Out

. )

The Dam Keeper tells the tale of a plucky pig who runs a windmill dam in an effort to keep poisonous clouds from floating into his town; he's teased by the townsfolk who don't seem to understand his diligence. The short has already won awards at a few film festivals, including the New York International Children's Film Festiva; it was an official entry in the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.

The Dam Keeper has some stiff competition for an Oscar, though, including Walt Disney's Feast (USA), the Netherlands' A Single Life, Canada and Norway's Me And My Moulton and the UK's The Bigger Picture. You can see how it all shakes out on Denver's ABC affiliate, Channel 7, when the 87th Academy Awards are handed out on February 22.

The Oscar Nominated Animated and Live-Action Shorts packages begin screening this Friday, January 30 at Landmark's Chez Artiste, 4150 East Amherst Avenue. Get tickets and more info at landmarktheaters.com. The Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts begin this Friday at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax. Get more tickets and info at denverfilm.org.

Dear Constant Reader, learn more about Keith Garcia on Twitter:@ConstantWatcher

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