Oscars 2015: ‘The Phone Call’ filmmakers now await producers’ calls

It wasn’t a big surprise that “The Phone Call” snagged the Oscar for live-action short. The film stars Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (supporting actress for 2013’s “Blue Jasmine”) as a shy telephone help-line volunteer who receives a life-changing phone call from a mystery man played by Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (supporting actor for 2001’s “Iris”). The star power gave the film a clear edge.

But backstage at the show, first-time Oscar winners Mat Kirkby (who directed and co-wrote “Phone Call”) and James Lucas (who co-wrote) were absolutely humble, if a bit shamelessly eager, in the cutest possible way.

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“We were waiting so long to get Sally Hawkins; we literally waited a year,” Kirkby said. “Now [Lucas and I are] both in Hollywood with feature scripts under our arms, so if there are any producers out there who would like to make a feature film by an Oscar-winning short filmmaker, um ...”


“God, that sounds good!” Lucas chimed in, cutting off his co-writer.

Kirkby sold his car to make the live-action short. How might Sunday’s win help him make a possible leap into feature film directing?

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“I hope it gives us a springboard into feature films,” Kirkby said. “Everybody along the way made sacrifices. We hoped to make things we’re proud of, but maybe this time some production company will give us a budget. We’ve proved what we could do without a budget, and it’d be nice to show what we could do with a budget.”


The British commercial director said that it had taken them four long years “to get from pen and paper to making a short film,” Kirkby said. “And now we find ourselves here.” His advice to budding filmmakers: “Be tenacious and just keep going.”

“And be stubborn,” Lucas added. “Just go for it. Do it.”