Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander star in the Oscar-nominated The Voorman Problem

Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander star in the Oscar-nominated The Voorman Problem

The Voorman Problem is heading to the Oscars. The twelve-minute film starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

“The Short Film categories aren’t read out during the nominations telecast so I was constantly refreshing my laptop on the Oscars website,” director Mark Gill told The Independent. “I was the first to find out. I shouted out. We all went a bit crazy.”

Director Mark Gill

Director Mark Gill

Penned by Mark Gill and producer Baldwin Li, The Voorman Problem has already won four awards including Best Short and Best Screenplay, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2013 and has been selected at over forty festivals worldwide including Aspen ShortFest, BFI London, Clermont-Ferrand and CFC Toronto. Adapted from a section of a David Mitchell novel, number9dream, The Voorman Problem follows psychiatrist Dr Williams (Martin Freeman) who is sent to a prison to examine the inmate Voorman (Tom Hollander) who believes he’s a god.

Gill and Li initially approached actor Kevin Spacey about the film. “I wrote to Kevin Spacey because I thought he would be great for one of the roles,” Gill said. “I was surprised when he got back to us and said he’d like to help. Kevin suggested Tom Hollander. We did everything you’re not supposed to do. We bypassed his agent and got the script to him direct. Tom wanted to do it and he helped us get Martin Freeman.”

 

The doctor must decide on the sanity of Mr Voorman: is he a faker or a lunatic?

The doctor must decide on the sanity of Mr Voorman: is he a faker or a lunatic?

The Voorman Problem is the only English-language short nominated, and is up against Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) by Esteban Crespo, Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) by Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras, Helium by Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson and Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) by Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari.

The latest short film by Honlodge Productions, Full Time, stars The Thick of It’s Chris Langham and was part-financed through IndieGoGo. Gill is hoping the Oscar nomination will provide more opportunities. “Awards help every film-maker move on with their career and the Oscars are the pinnacle” he said.

The Voorman Problem will be available on iTunes from 28th February just ahead of the Academy Awards on 2nd March. Watch the trailer below.

The Voorman Problem Official Website

The Voorman Problem on Twitter

The Voorman Problem Facebook Page

Images © Honlodge Productions


 

About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

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