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Borrowed Time (film)

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Borrowed Time
Film poster
Directed by
Written by
  • Andrew Coats
  • Lou Hamou-Lhadj
  • Mark C. Harris
Produced byAmanda Deering Jones
CinematographyLuke Martorelli
Edited byKathy Toon
Music byGustavo Santaolalla
Quorum Films
Release dates
  • October 31, 2015 (2015-10-31) (Austin Film Festival)
  • October 14, 2016 (2016-10-14)
Running time
7 minutes
CountryUnited States

Borrowed Time is a 2015 American animated Western short film directed by Pixar artists Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj.[1]


In the Old West, a sheriff and his young son are traveling on a wagon trail. The sheriff gives his son his own pocket watch and his hat for good luck. During their trek, their stagecoach is attacked by bandits. While the sheriff attempts to fend off their attackers, the son drives the wagon, but loses control when it collides with a rock, breaking a wagon wheel, and causing the sheriff to be flung over a nearby cliff's edge. The son recovers, and observes the damage. As he looks around, he finds his father hanging on to a lower rock ledge. Attempting to reach his father with his hand, he isn't able to reach him; subsequently, the sheriff hands his son his rifle for additional leverage, and the son begins to pull him up. Before the son can pull his father to the top of the cliff, he puts his finger inside the trigger guard and accidentally fires the rifle, killing his father by mistake, leaving the young son traumatized.

Many years later, the son has risen to the office of the sheriff, and visits the cliff where his father died. Reliving the events of that day, he contemplates suicide, unable to cope with the guilt. He allows himself to slip off the cliff's edge, but when he sees the pocket watch his father gave him, he attempts to climb back onto the cliff, almost falling off in the process. He manages to get back up and retrieves the pocket watch, then breaks down crying. He cradles the watch in his hands and breathes deeply in a short moment of solace. He holds the watch close to his heart, and it starts ticking.


The short took roughly five years to develop, from 2010 to 2015, as a part of Pixar's Co-op Program, which allows their animators to use Pixar resources to produce independent films.[2][3][4] The directors worked on the film in their spare time, while remaining full-time at Pixar and contributing to projects such as Inside Out, Brave, The Good Dinosaur, and WALL-E, along with shorts such as Toy Story That Time Forgot, Day & Night, Toy Story of Terror!, and Partly Cloudy.


List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Recipients Result
2015 SIGGRAPH Best In Show Andrew Coats
Lou Hamou-Lhadj
St. Louis International Film Festival Best Animated Short Won[6]
2016 Brooklyn Film Festival Won[7]
Fastnet Short Film Festival Best Cinematography James Campbell & Luke Martorelli Won [8]
USA Film Festival First Place: Animation Andrew Coats
Lou Hamou-Lhadj
Woods Hole Film Festival Best Short Animation Won[10]
2017 Academy Awards Best Animated Short Film Nominated[11][12]
22nd Empire Awards Best Short Film Nominated[13]
Reel Shorts Film Festival Best Animated Short Won[14]

The short was included in The Animation Showcase for 2016.


  1. ^ "Borrowed Time". Facebook.
  2. ^ Failes, Ian (January 24, 2017). "How Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj Made The Independent Short 'Borrowed Time' Inside Pixar". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  3. ^ Hill, Libby (January 29, 2017). "Two Pixar animators explore the depths of grief and guilt in 'Borrowed Time'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ Desowitz, Bill (January 29, 2017). "'Borrowed Time': How Two Pixar Animators Made a Daring, Off-Brand Western Short". Indiewire. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Harary, Dan. "SIGGRAPH 2016 ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS AND HIGHLIGHTS OF 43RD ANNUAL COMPUTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL". SIGGRAPH. ACM SIGGRAPH. Archived from the original on January 14, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "2015 SLIFF Awards". Cinema St. Louis. Archived from the original on December 25, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Animation Film @ Brooklyn Film Festival". Brooklyn Film Festival. January 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "…AND THE WINNERS ARE – FFF 2016". Fastnet Film Festival. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "USA Film Festival Official Website". USA Film Festival. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "2016 Audience Awards". Woods Hole Film Festival. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2017: See the Full List". Vanity Fair. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "Oscar Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. February 27, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  13. ^ James Dyer (February 7, 2017). "2017 Three Empire Awards Nominations Announced". Empire. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "2017 Award Winners". Reel Shorts Film Festival. May 17, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2017.

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