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‘The Shape of Water’: Guillermo del Toro Didn’t Take Any Ideas From Viral Short, Netherlands Film Academy Rules

The NFA released a statement downplaying the similarities.

"The Shape of Water"

“The Shape of Water”

Fox Searchlight

The similarities between “The Shape of Water” and a short film called “The Space Between Us” have raised eyebrows among some viewers, as their shared premise — a woman working at a research facility falls in love with a fish creature — seems too out-there to be a coincidence. But the Netherlands Film Academy, which produced Marc S. Nollkaemper’s 13-minute short, doesn’t think there’s anything to it. The NFA has released a statement saying that the two films “have their own very different identities” and “are not in any conceivable way interlinked or related.”

Here’s the full statement:

“After recently screening ‘The Shape of Water’ and following conversations that took place in a very constructive and friendly atmosphere, The Netherlands Film Academy believes that both ‘The Shape of Water’ and our short, ‘The Space Between Us,’ have their own very different identities. They have separate timelines of development and are not in any conceivable way interlinked or related. The students and “The Space Between Us” team were very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to actively discuss the creative inspirations of both films in a personal conversation with Mr. del Toro. We cordially discussed our films and our common roots in mythology and the fantastic (and some themes which Mr. del Toro has previously dwelled on Hellboy I and II). We have learned a lot from the contact with an extremely gifted and creative filmmake and wish ‘The Shape of Water’ continued success.”

Watch “The Space Between Us” below:

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