Pathos in Plasticine

For Miranda Dear, SBS Independent's commissioning editor for drama, he landed on her desk accompanied by a handwritten note. It was March 2003, and it had taken Melbourne animator Adam Elliot three years to get the right ingredients and balance of flavors for his 22-min. short film Harvie Krumpet. "Well, here he is," the note declared, "almost fully baked!!!"

He's now cooking with gas. Forget Cate, Nicole or any of the other expected hopefuls - Harvek Milos Krumpetzki, an eccentric Polish migrant with pallid skin and ears protruding like Duchamp urinals, is Australia's unlikeliest Oscar contender. Last...

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