Gravity screenwriter Jonás Cuarón has finally revealed the identity of Sandra Bullock's distress call companion from the film's final climactic minutes with a short companion film that may take home its very own Oscar.
Called Aningaaq, the seven-minute short follows Aningaaq, an Inuit fisherman who receives Ryan Stone's distress call from space, and carries on a conversation with her "about dogs, babies, life and death" despite the two speaking two different languages.
In Aningaaq, fans of the film finally learn what Aningaaq was really saying.
The idea for Aningaaq, which follows an Inuit fisherman stationed on a remote fjord in Greenland, occurred to the Cuarons as they were working out the beats for the Gravity screenplay. "It's this moment where the audience and the character get this hope that Ryan is finally going to be OK," Jonas, 31, tells THR. "Then you realize that everything gets lost in translation." Both Cuarons spent time in the glacial region (Alfonso once toyed with setting a movie there) and fell in love with the barren vastness of its frozen wilderness. During one of those visits, Alfonso met a drunken native who would become the basis for the title character, played by Greenland's Orto Ignatiussen. But it wasn't until Jonas, on a two-week trek gathering elements for his film, was inspired by the local inhabitants' profound attachment to their sled dogs that he decided to incorporate that element into the plot.
Shooting on location with a budget of $100k, Cuaron said he wanted to "make it a piece that could stand on its own."
It was screened to select audiences at a few film festivals, and will be included as an extra in Gravity's Blu-ray release.