A still from the "Gravity" spinoff short film, "Aningaaq."
In "Gravity," Sandra Bullock's astronaut Ryan Stone makes contact in a moment of desperation with Earth. She reaches someone, but a language barrier keeps her from connecting with the man on the ground.
Now, a short film showing the other side of that conversation — titled "Aningaaq" — has gone viral. Shot by "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron's son, Jonas (who also co-wrote "Gravity"), the short film was originally set to be a fun Blu-ray extra feature for the movie fans who want to dive a little deeper, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
But the video began finding an audience and building a name for itself on the festival circuit. So much so that it's being submitted for Oscar consideration in the live-action short category.
Watch the film below:
If "Aningaaq" ends up being nominated for an Academy Award (alongside the widely expected nominations for "Gravity"), it would be a historic moment for the Oscars: the first time a spinoff and its originating material were nominated in the same year, according to the Reporter.
"Aningaaq" provides a bit of a lighter touch to the same material from "Gravity," while also still getting across a sense of tragedy and exploration of life and death. Plus, this one won't give you motion sickness.
It features an Inuit fisherman named Aningaaq — on a Greenland fjord deep in the arctic wilderness — who suddenly hears his radio squawking with the voice of stranded astronaut Ryan Stone (played, as in the film, by Sandra Bullock).
According to the Reporter, the character of Aningaaq is based on a real person Alfonso Cuaron met when visiting the area. Jonas decided to work the character into the plot of the movie after seeing the way the area's natives got attached to their sled dogs.
The Reporter quotes Bullock on the short film, calling it an "absolutely beautiful piece of loneliness. … I get goose bumps thinking about it."
Marvel Comics has been making some waves with short film extras, mostly focusing on S.H.I.E.L.D. — one of those extras helped lead to the spinoff TV series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." — but none of those films have been getting the artistic acclaim that this one has, at least from outside the fanboy community.
Oscar season is approaching, so soon we'll find out whether Academy voters find this side of the conversation as compelling as the one they saw in the 3D epic space odyssey.
Is it Oscar worthy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.