Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ Animated Film Makes Shortlist For Oscar

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ Animated Film Makes Shortlist For Oscar


A screening committee pared down a group of 63 animated short films to announce 10 nominees that advanced in the voting process for the 90th annual Academy Awards. Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was nominated for an Oscar for his work on “Dear Basketball.”

Members of the short films and feature animation branch will next hold screenings, and will then select five nominees from the Oscar shortlist. Last year’s winner in the category was Pixar’s “Piper.”

The five nominees will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, along with all other Oscar nominees. The Awards are set for Sunday, March 4.

Bryant was the screenwriter and executive producer of the animated short, while Glen Keane was the director and John Williams composed the score for the film.

For as much as Bryant accomplished during his 20-year playing career with the Lakers, winning an Oscar would be a notable first off the hardwood. He’s focused on storytelling, another passion of his, since retiring after the 2016 season.

A minor detail with his film making the Oscar shortlist, Bryant would not win an Oscar himself, because he served as executive producer, not producer.

Complete field of advancing animated short titles:

“Cradle,” Devon Manney, director (University of Southern California)

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, director, and Kobe Bryant, writer (Glen Keane Productions)

“Fox and the Whale,” Robin Joseph, director (Robin Joseph)

“Garden Party,” Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, directors (MOPA)

“In a Heartbeat,” Esteban Bravo and Beth David, directors (Ringling College of Art and Design)

“Life Smartphone,” Chenglin Xie, director (China Central Academy of Fine Arts)

“Lost Property Office,” Daniel Agdag, director, and Liz Kearney, producer (8th in Line)

“Lou,” Dave Mullins, director, and Dana Murray, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)

“Negative Space,” Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, directors (Ikki Films)

“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)