Renowned cartoonist and film-maker Don Hertzfeldt has done many strange and unusual films. His odd sense of humor and outside-the-box thinking allows him to create stories and characters that draw from the most inner parts of the human psyche.
His newest film is known as World of Tomorrow and is the story of Emily and Emily’s third generation clone who is also named Emily. The clone contacts Emily Prime as a way to explain her future, regain a memory that she has long since forgotten and extend a word of advice/caution. The 16-minute video begins with the incredibly cute Emily Prime answering a video phone.
As Emily transports Emily Prime into the future, she explains the future and all of the new technology and possibilities to live forever. But as the cloning process continues through generations, the likelihood of mental decay increases.
Clone Emily tells her stories of love, which in typical Hertzfeldt style involve a rock, gas pump and an alien named Simon. Emily takes Emily Prime through the history. The most recent images of history have just included people looking at screens to see images of history.
World of Tomorrow is winning awards left and right. The following is from Don’s website:
In January, WORLD OF TOMORROW won the Grand Prize for Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival! Don previously won the Sundance Grand Prize in 2007 with EVERYTHING WILL BE OK and is now the only filmmaker to have won it twice.
WORLD OF TOMORROW has also won 38 other awards, including:
Best Animated Short, SXSW
Grand Jury Animated Short Award, AFI Fest
Best Film, Fantoche Animation Festival
Grand Prix, Anifilm Trebon
Golden Zagreb for Creativity and Artistic Achievement, Animafest Zagreb
Best Script, Ottawa Animation Festival
Audience Award, Ottawa Animation Festival
Audience Award, Annecy Animation Festival
Special Jury Distinction, Annecy Animation Festival
Steven Goldmann Visionary Award, Nashville Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize, St. Cloud Film Festival
Grand Prix for Short Film, Utopiales International Festival of Science Fiction
Scientific Merit Award, Imagine Science Film Festival
Best Short Film, Philadelphia Film Festival
Best Short Film, BAFICI
Best Animation, Milano Film Festival
Best Animated Short, Dallas Film Festival
Best Animated Short, Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival
Best Animated Short, Omaha Film Festival
Best Animated Short, Sarasota Film Festival
Best Animated Short, Nevada City Film Festival
Wojciech Juszczak Special Award for Artistic Merit, ANIMATOR Festival
Audience Award, ANIMATOR Festival
Audience Award, New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival
Audience Award, Vienna Independent Shorts Festival
Audience Award, Glasgow Short Film Festival
Audience Award, Independent Film Festival of Boston
Audience Award, Flatpack Film Festival
Audience Award, Montreal International Animation Festival
Special Jury Prize, Sommets Du Cinema DAnimation
Special Jury Mention, Regard Film Festival
Special Jury Mention, Fest Anca
Special Jury Mention, World Festival of Animated Film, Varna
Special Jury Mention, Animated Dreams Film Festival, Estonia
Best Animated Film, Alhambra Theater Film Festival
Best Sound Design, 24fps International Short Film Festival
Runner-Up People’s Choice Award, Imagine Science Film Festival
Honorary Mention, Prix Ars Electronica
The movie is short but Hertzfeldt packs these 16 minutes with so much information and love that you are left wanting more and loving Emily Prime.
This deserves all of the credit that it is getting. Hertzfeldt captures the fear of the future, all of the possibilities of that future, the innocence of children and the purity of ‘now.’
Hertzfeldt has taken his bizarre ideas and turned them into an incredibly powerful and emotionally challenging film. The story is funny, enlightening and heartbreaking.
Emily is cold to her old self and doesn’t connect with Emily Prime throughout the film, which is worrying because of how cute and affectionate she is as a child. But we see at the end that Emily is placed back into what we assume is her home and skips off to go play, taking joy in each moment.
This movie can be rented on Youtube and Vimeo as well as streamed on Netflix. See what critics are calling the best short film of 2015 and watch World of Tomorrow, today.