Last year, Walmart kicked off a three-year branded entertainment partnership with the Academy Awards by doing something never done before: bringing audiences three original films by four award-winning directors, each based on a true story—not from a book or a play, but from a Walmart receipt.
This year, the inspiration for the short films that will debut during the 2018 Academy Awards telecast on Oscars night is the Walmart delivery box.
While last year Walmart tapped male directors, this year it has chosen an all-female team of directors—Dee Rees, Melissa McCarthy and Nancy Meyer—whose sixty-second short films debuted during the Super Bowl.
Walmart is also teaming up with Women In Film to provide funding and support to four up-and-coming female filmmakers, including AMPAS Academy Gold intern Tracey Aivaz.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 5, 2018
So honored!! thank you for tweeting!!
— ⭐️Tracey Aivaz⭐️ (@AivazTracey) March 3, 2018
Mudbound director Rees tapped some of her favorite women in Hollywood, including Mary J. Blige, Hannah Beachler, Rachel Morrison and costume designer Colleen Atwood, to work on The Box and told Essence the project is a “shameless opportunity to put all that excellence together.”
McCarthy’s short features a woman who finds and steps into a Walmart box that is actually a portal to her past—she empowers herself as a young woman while being mid-bullied, and later pays it forward. Meyer, for her part, featured Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, in need of inspiration, as the unlikely star of her short film.
The three films:
Below, the project’s teasers, a longer cut of McCarthy’s film and a behind-the-scenes look: