WarnerMedia OneFifty has acquired two short films, Namoo and When the Sun Sets to get a HBO Max release. Namoo is already streaming since 27 January and When the Sun Sets will hit the platform on 8 February. Both the films are shortlisted to be nominated for the 2022 Academy Awards, Namoo in the animated short film category and When the Sun set to get in the live action short film category.
The nominations will be formally announced on 8 February.
“WarnerMedia’s ‘artist studio where innovation happens,’ OneFifty has built a track record of identifying incredible artists whose vision we believe in, and acquiring their extraordinary, groundbreaking content. We are excited to continue working with these filmmakers for many years to come,” arts and cultural innovations VP and WarnerMedia OneFifty head.
Namoo joins a fast-growing catalogue of critically acclaimed Oscar contenders that have been acquired by WarnerMedia OneFifty, including the 2021 Oscar-nominated short White Eye, 2022 Spirit Awards nominated film This Is Not a War Story, and Sundance Sloan Winner Son of Monarchs among other groundbreaking content.
Namoo is a narrative poem that comes to life through hand-crafted animation. Inspired by the passing of the director’s grandfather, Namoo – which translates to “tree” in Korean – follows the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, from beginning to end.
It was written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Erick Oh (OPERA) and marks his most personal and ambitious work to date. The film was produced by nine-time Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios, executive produced by John Cho and produced by Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan, and Kane Lee. It most recently received the ‘Best Animated Short’ prize from the 2022 Gold List Awards.
“I’ve been making short films for 10 years, and it’s extremely rare for independent filmmakers to find a way to share them with a wide audience. I can’t tell you what a huge honor and pleasure it is to have HBO Max launch Namoo; their reach together with the caliber of their content is amazing” said Namoo writer and director Erick Oh.
“We are excited to work with HBO Max, a brand which is synonymous with quality. It has also been a delight to work with the WarnerMedia OneFifty team who are so indie-artist friendly and passionate about Namoo,” said Namoo producer and Baobab Studios CEO/co-founder Maureen Fan.
When the Sun Sets is a touching story of a young, Black nurse’s struggle to protect her family during apartheid South Africa. It is an ode to family, motherhood, and resilience, and reminds viewers of the power of love to transcend oppression.
The live action short film is directed by South African filmmaker Phumi Morare and is inspired by her mother’s true story.
“I am deeply honored that this story, inspired by my family, and dear to me, has found a home on HBO Max and is now part of the WarnerMedia OneFifty family. I am grateful for the opportunity that OneFifty provides to emerging filmmakers like myself,” said When the Sun Sets writer and director Phumi Morare.
“It’s an exciting honor to be working with HBO Max and WarnerMedia OneFifty to bring this meaningful film to their platform. We hope to continue sparking important discourse that resonates with wider audiences,” film’s producing partner Christine Cho said.
When the Sun Sets won the 2021 HBO ABFF Short Film Competition and was a finalist at the 2021 Urbanworld Film Festival. It is also nominated for the 2022 NAACP Image Awards in the ‘Outstanding Short Form’ (Live Action) category.
Leslie Cohen, HBO/HBO Max Film Acquisitions SVP, finalized the deals for both titles. Amanda Trokan, HBO Max content acquisitions director, worked on the negotiations for Namoo; Rebecca Vazquez, HBO Max content acquisitions VP, worked on the negotiations for When the Sun Sets.