Husband-and-wife filmmaking team Jared and Jerusha Hess’ Ninety-five Senses is a tribute to the senses, delivered by a death row inmate
Filmmaker couple Jared and Jerusha Hess, best known for Napolean Dynamite and Nacho Libre, have made an animated short film called Ninety-Five Senses, featuring the voice of Tim Blake Nelson, as a death row inmate who gets all philosophical about his senses and how the end of five, could be the beginning of 95 others in the afterlife. The 13-minute short has been shortlisted in the animated short film category at the Academy Awards and is available to stream for free. Filmmaker Taika Waititi, of Thor Ragnarok and Thor Love and Thunder fame, took to social media to share the streaming link of the film, which he says is one of the most beautiful films he’s seen in a long time.
Ninety-Five senses has been doing the festival rounds across the globe winning at the Animation Dingle in Ireland, Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico, Florida Film Festival and the Flickers’ Rhode Island Film Festival. The film’s protagonist, Coy, is on death row, a situation he finds himself in owing to the failure of one of his senses. While ‘enjoying’ his last meal, Coy reflects on his past and his hopes for a great afterlife, divided into segments, each dedicated to a sense. Each segment has, reportedly, been animated by different teams. When Salt Lake-based non-profit MAST ran a contest called Voices Seen, the winners – both novices and experienced hands - were brought together to work on a collaborative piece.
Other films on this year’s animated short film shortlist, besides Ninety-F ive Senses, are Boom, Eeva, Humo, I’m Hip, A Kind of Testament, Koerkorter, Letter to a Pig, Once Upon A Studio, Our Uniform, Pachyderme, Pete, War is Over, 27 and Wild Summon. The 96th Academy Awards will be held on March 11, 2024. The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 23