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Oscars 2014: 'Helium' wins live-action short

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“Helium,” the story of a terminally ill boy who is bored with the idea of heaven until he meets a janitor who concocts an alternative blimp-laden version of the afterlife, won the Oscar for live-action short film Sunday night. 

The fanciful Danish charmer stars Casper Crump as the kindhearted janitor and Pelle Falk Krusbaek as the boy with a fascination for hot-air balloons. Clocking in at less than 23 minutes, the comforting tale effortlessly blends computer-generated images with live-action, a feat not easy to achieve, particularly with the budget of a short.  

Director Anders Walter took the helm on another short titled “9 Meter,” in which he also supplied the visual effects, as he did with “Helium.” 

TIMELINE: The Academy Awards through the years

“Helium” beat out four other films in the live-action short category:

“Just Before Losing Everything”: The harrowing story of a woman who gathers her children and hatches an escape from her abusive husband. Directed by Xavier Legrand.

“The Voorman Problem”: The quirky tale of a psychiatrist called to examine a prison inmate who believes he is God, only to leave with a slight belief that the inmate might be right. Directed by Mark Gill.

“Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?”: The amusing narrative of a mother of two determined to get her family ready for a friend’s wedding only to encounter a string of unfortunate accidents. Directed by Selma Vilhunen.

“That Wasn’t Me”: The war account of two Spanish doctors who are kidnapped by child soldiers in Africa. Directed by Esteban Crespo.

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