Director Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship to Make New Short Film

Director Mark Osborne and Karen Dufilho-Rosen, producer of several Academy Award-winning animated short films, are partnering in Los Angeles to make THE BETTER HALF, a stop-motion animated short film, with a 2004/2005 Guggenheim Fellowship Osborne received to partially fund the making of the new short.

This new short is a seven-minute film to be realized in stop-motion animation, said Osborne. 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.

Guggenheim Fellowships are grants to selected individuals made for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12 months. The average amount of a Fellowship grant in 2003 was approximately $35,747.

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. Were 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. 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 GERIS GAME for Pixar Animation Studios. As head of Pixars shorts department, Dufilho-Rosen supervised feature film promotional productions and Pixar franchise related projects. She produced the outtakes for A BUGS LIFE, TOY STORY 2 and MONSTERS, INC, and was responsible for Pixars short film slate including the 2003 Academy Award-nominated short film MIKES NEW CAR.

For more information about Mark Osborne or THE BETTER HALF, visit www.happyproduct.com.

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