Alberto Mielgo, receiving his Oscar. / sur

Spain's Alberto Mielgo wins an Oscar for 'The Windscreen Wiper'

Seventy people worked on the short animated film, which took seven years to make and which he financed himself

OSKAR BELATEGUI Madrid

While the world was watching the stars arrive on the red carpet, a Spanish film-maker was winning an Oscar: in an effort to keep the ceremony shorter, the Hollywood Academy had decided that eight statuettes would be presented outside the official ceremony.

They were awarded an hour earlier and just shown as a brief video in the main awards ceremony television broadcast. Among them were categories as essential to cinema as editing and soundtrack, for which Alberto Iglesias had been nominated but lost out to Hans Zimmer for 'Dune'. However, Alberto Mielgo did win the statuette for his animated short film 'The Windscreen Wiper'.

Wowed

Mielgo wasn’t the favourite: everything had pointed to 'Robin Robin' being the winner, a piece from the Aardman studio which was co-produced and supported by Netflix. Nevertheless, the judges were wowed by the dazzling workmanship and poetry of 'The Windscreen Wiper', in which the film-maker, who has three Emmy awards, invested seven years in his PinkmanTV studio, financing it himself along with other creator friends.

No plot

The short film has no plot. A character, the film-maker’s alter ego, questions the meaning of love and we see different situations as an example: a couple on the beach, a drunk in the street, a man ringing a doorbell…

Mielgo has worked as an animator all over the world since he left Spain when he was 18. He has lived in London, Berlin, Tokyo and Los Angeles. He started out on children’s animated films in Spain such as ‘La leyenda del pirata Barbanegra’ and ‘El Cid: la leyenda’, worked on Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’ and took over the artistic direction of the series ‘Tron: Uprising’. He was contracted for the artistic direction of ‘Spider-Man: A new universe’, but left after two years due to artistic differences with Sony. The Netflix short film series Love, Death and Robots includes his dazzling work 'The Witness'.

'The Windscreen Wiper' had already been selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at the last Cannes Film Festival. For this self-taught Madrid native, who was born in 1979 and by the age of ten was already drawing 40-page comics, the Oscar means independence and the chance to carry on with his personal projects. For the 15-minute film, he employed 70 people.

Alberto Mielgo, a lover of classic animated films and Japanese authors, although he is reluctant to follow “the dictatorial aesthetics of Pixar and Disney”, will continue to explore animation for adults without boundaries.