Jerry Levitan's Oscar-nominated I Met the Walrus, an animated film based on a 1969 interview with John Lennon, has been selected by the Guggenheim Museum in its YouTubePlay art project.

Levitan is one of six Canadian artists on the short list for the YouTubePlay project, a collaboration between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the online video sharing site YouTube.

The museum requested video from around the world in the project, which will showcase the art that is being created on YouTube.

A curatorial team has chosen 125 videos from 23,000 submissions it received online.

The selections range from narrative videos and documentaries to animation and music videos and are created by both professional and amateur artists.

Levitan, who produced a six-minute animated film I Met the Walrus, earned an Oscar nomination for best short animated video in 2009 and won an Emmy.

The Beatles-obsessed Levitan, aged 14 in 1969, knocked on every door of a Toronto hotel until he found Lennon, who was in Canada during his bed-in for peace with wife Yoko Ono. Lennon's musings on peace and global conflict form the backbone of the film, directed by Josh Raskin.

Other Canadian entries:

  • Jason Ryan of Toronto with Acornucopia, an animated film about a generous squirrel and a space-age robotic blue jay.
  • Jeff Kopas of Toronto with Dogasaur, in which a four-year-old girl tries to help her blind grandfather by reintroducing him to the world of imagination.
  • Nicole Duquette of Vancouver with Dreamscape, an anime-inspired video about a girl's watery dream.
  • Andrew Nicolas McCann Smith of Toronto and New York with Home, a live drama set an old folks home.
  • Sterling Pache of Vancouver with Mars to Jupiter, a short film about the struggles of a Rwandan genocide survivor as she integrates into North American society.

The Guggenheim announced in a press release that it had received entries from 91 countries, including South Africa and Brazil.

Among the entries are video from a New York improv troupe that puts 15 pairs of twins on a subway car in a kind of human mirror and a video of speeded-up scenes of life on a Sydney beach by Australian artist Keith Outlit.

The Guggenheim jury will select up to 20 artists to come to New York to present their work on Oct. 21.


  • Sterling Pache's Mars to Jupiter is about the struggles of a Rwandan genocide survivor. An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect description of the film.
    Sep 21, 2010 8:10 AM ET