Jerry Levitan

January 22, 2008 12:46 ET

Canadian Animated Short, "I Met the Walrus" Gets Oscar Nod as Nominations Are Announced

JERRY LEVITAN'S CHILDHOOD ENCOUNTER WITH JOHN LENNON CAPTURES THE ATTENTION OF AUDIENCES AND FILM INDUSTRY

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 22, 2008) -

Attention: Arts, Entertainment, Film and Lifestyle Writers

Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announced the nomination of Canadian film, "I Met the Walrus" for Best Animated Short.

Thirty-nine years ago, a 14 year-old Toronto boy armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck found Beatle legend, John Lennon at the King Edward Hotel and talked his way into the suite for a 40-minute interview. That boy was Jerry Levitan and last year, he joined forces with Toronto's Josh Raskin to produce a 6-minute animated film using audio from the legendary interview.

The remarkable encounter has been making headlines since that day in 1969, and pop culture writers and commentators worldwide have come to recognize the recording as a unique historic artifact. The story, presented brilliantly by animator and director Josh Raskin, computer illustrator Alex Kurina and pen illustrator James Braithwaite, has enabled new generations to experience John Lennon's timeless message of peace. The film artfully weaves excerpts from Levitan's original recorded interview with a captivating visual narrative.

"The world is as turbulent as it was in 1969, and John's message is as timely today as it was then. I am so proud that new generations can relive my experience through this film," says Levitan.

"I Met the Walrus" has been winning top awards at film festivals around the world including Best Animated Short at AFI Fest and Best Animation at the Middle East International Film Festival, Manhattan Short Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, 10 or Less Film Festival. It has also won International Special Mention at the Odense Film Festival, Director's Special Recognition at the San Francisco Shorts, Best Sound Design at the Platform International Film Festival, Spirit Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival, Outstanding Animation at the Winnipeg International Film Festival and is currently screening at Sundance as well as the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The film was produced with a Bravo!Fact grant, supported by Bravo! NewStyleArtsChannel.

Growing up in the height of the 1960s rock-n-roll era, Jerry Levitan has always been passionate about music and entertaining. A chance meeting with his idol, John Lennon, when Jerry was 14 inspired Jerry to follow his dream of entertaining children as Sir Jerry, "Canada's Hottest Children's Entertainer". Working with Canadian rocker/producer Ruben Huizenga, Sir Jerry released his first CD, Bees, Butterflies and Bugs in 2004, his second, Sir Jerry's World in 2006, and is currently recording his third album, expected to be released in the spring.

For more information about "I Met the Walrus" or Jerry Levitan, visit www.imetthewalrus.com and www.sir-jerry.com. Jerry Levitan and Josh Raskin are available for interviews.

Contact Information