Oscar-Shortlisted Animated Short ‘Wild Summon’ Adds Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Guy Nattiv & Jaime Ray Newman As EPs

EXCLUSIVE: Academy Award-winning filmmaker Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, his producing partner at HyperObject Industries, have come aboard the Oscar-shortlisted animated short Wild Summon as executive producers. Joining them are Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman of New Native Pictures, who won an Oscar for their 2019 live-action short Skin and went on to adapt it into a feature starring Jamie Bell.

An eco-film also recently longlisted for the BAFTA Film Awards, Wild Summon hails from filmmakers Karni Arieli and Saul Freed and their independent animation studio Sulkybunny. The film narrated by Marianne Faithful blends elements of natural history and fantasy to follow the dramatic life cycle of the wild salmon in human form. It world premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and was produced with support from the British Film Institute, which awarded National Lottery funding.

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'Wild Summon' filmmakers Karni Arieli and Saul Freed
Wild Summon filmmakers Karni Arieli and Saul Freed

When Messick, McKay and the HyperObject Industries team caught Wild Summon at Cannes, they were “blown away by the bold imagination” at hand, Messick said. “In just 15 minutes of screen time they immerse you into the dramatic life cycle of the wild salmon with such a twist that we haven’t stopped thinking about it. They have created a new form of a nature documentary, highlighting the challenges present in our teetering natural world, taking the baton from storied filmmakers like David Attenborough to connect with audiences today in a totally unconventional way.”

Stated Nattiv and Newman, “To create a stunning, delicate, innovative and perfect piece of art like Karni and Saul have managed to do with “Wild Summon”, is truly capturing lightning in a bottle. The film deserves as many accolades, but more importantly viewers, as humanly possible. It reminds us that we are all connected to the emotional roller coaster called life, whether we be human or fish. We are thrilled and honored to join this team and share Wild Summon with the world.”

Added Arieli and Freed, “We are extremely excited to have Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, the awesome HyperObject Industries team, along with Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman of New Native Pictures, support our Eco Natural history fantasy short ‘Wild Summon.’ It’s a film that attempts to reconnect our viewers to nature and eco stories in a unique and emotional way. By flipping the narrative and creating a salmon in human form. Connecting nature and humans as one with empathy.”

The filmmakers underscored that the journey looked at in the film is one of “survival” for both nature and human beings, “looking at how we treat the world and each other. More important than ever today.” The duo added that “the awesome work HyperObject Industries is doing in promoting eco stories in a revolutionary style, seems a perfect match for our female Salmon; delivering powerful, thought-provoking films that aim to wake people up to the one greatest danger we all face, regardless of race, borders, or religion. Looking after and taking better care of our one and only big blue planet.”

Most recently helming the environmentally-minded satire Don’t Look Up, which saw humanity freak out and flounder ahead of the promised arrival of a planet-destroying comet, McKay has long been outspoken on the threat of global warming and the environmental dangers our planet faces. Recently, he launched the nonprofit Yellow Dot Studios to create entertaining, memorable, and scientifically accurate videos and other media to challenge decades of disinformation and raise awareness of climate issues. Deadline recently broke the news that the director’s next feature will also be climate-related, following his decision to put Netflix pic Average Height, Average Build to the side.

Newman and Nattiv have collaborated on multiple projects with social impact at its core, including the thriller Tatami, which premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, and the Helen Mirren starrer Golda helmed by Nattiv.

Previously, Arieli and Freed have collaborated on the BAFTA-nominated short film Turning, as well as 2012 short Flytopia and assorted music videos. We’ll find out whether their latest will make it all the way to the Oscars when noms are announced on January 23rd.

McKay is represented by WME and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole. Nattiv and Newman are repped by Range Media Partners, CAA and Cohen & Gardner. Arieli and Freed are with Independent Talent in the UK and Industry Entertainment.

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