WarnerMedia OneFifty has acquired two short films, Erick Oh‘s Namoo and Phumi Morare‘s When The Sun Sets. The films are both shortlisted to be nominated for the 2022 Academy Awards and will debut on HBO Max. Namoo hits the streamer today and When The Sun Sets on February 8, respectively.
“WarnerMedia’s ‘artist studio where innovation happens,’ OneFifty has built a track record of identifying incredible artists whose vision we believe in, and acquiring their extraordinary, groundbreaking content,” said Axel Caballero, Vice President of Arts & Cultural Innovations and Head of WarnerMedia OneFifty. “We are excited to continue working with these filmmakers for many years to come,”
Namoo is a narrative poem come to life through hand-crafted animation. Inspired by the passing of the Oh’s grandfather, Namoo – which translates to “tree” in Korean – follows the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, from beginning to end.
Namoo was written and directed by Oh (Opera), who is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. The film was produced by Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios, executive produced by John Cho and produced by Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan, and Kane Lee. It most recently received the Best Animated Short prize from the 2022 Gold List Awards.
“I’ve been making short films for 10 years, and it’s extremely rare for independent filmmakers to find a way to share them with a wide audience,” said Oh. “I can’t tell you what a huge honor and pleasure it is to have HBO Max launch Namoo; their reach together with the caliber of their content is amazing”
When The Sun Sets is a touching story of a young, Black nurse’s struggle to protect her family during apartheid South Africa. It is an ode to family, motherhood, and resilience, and reminds viewers of the power of love to transcend oppression.
The short film is directed by Morare, a South African filmmaker. It is inspired by her mother’s true story. When The Sun Sets won the 2021 HBO ABFF Short Film Competition and was a finalist at the 2021 Urbanworld Film Festival. It is also nominated for the 2022 NAACP Image Awards in the Outstanding Short Form (Live Action) category.
“I am deeply honored that this story, inspired by my family, and dear to me, has found a home on HBO Max and is now part of the WarnerMedia OneFifty family,” said Morare. “I am grateful for the opportunity that OneFifty provides to emerging filmmakers like myself.”
Leslie Cohen, Senior Vice President of Film Acquisitions for HBO/HBO Max, finalized the deals for both titles. Amanda Trokan, Director of Content Acquisitions for HBO Max, worked on the negotiations for Namoo; Rebecca Vazquez, Vice President of Content Acquisitions for HBO Max, worked on the negotiations for When The Sun Sets.