"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."
"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.