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Hair Love'Just Won an Oscar. What Does it Say About the CROWN Act and Just How Did a BYU Grad Get Involved?


A screenshot from "Hair Love," which won the Oscar for best animated short film Sunday night.

During Sunday night's 92nd Academy Awards, "Hair Love" — an animated short film about a black father attempting to style his daughter's natural hair for the first time — won an Oscar. It brought #GirlDad back into focus and shined a light on the CROWN Act, which many had never heard of until it received the Oscar shoutout.

Bryce Randle, a BYU grad who works at Disney Television Animation, became an editor for the project about a year after the kickstarter campaign. What started as "a little side hustle" that could help pay for his kids'summer camp turned into a meaningful project that resonated with him — especially as a dad with two daughters.

"I love that the dad (in 'Hair Love') is trying to be the best dad that he can with the mom gone. I think the reason that it's so appealing is because it's very authentic — a lot of dads can go, 'Oh yeah, that's something I relate to'no matter what your ethnicity is," Randle told the Deseret News as he was heading into work. "I'm terrible at doing my daughters'hair. Whenever I bring my daughters to preschool and my wife is out of town, I bring a Starbucks gift card for (the teachers) just so they can do their hair."

Randle, who studied media arts at BYU, worked on "Hair Love" on-and-off for a year, seeing the short film through several versions ("Hair Love" once got to eight minutes). Throughout the editing process, Randle arranged and rearranged storyboards — at one point he was working with 1,500 black-and-white drawings — cutting things out to help with pacing and to get the story's message across more clearly.

Read the full story by Lottie Elizabeth Johnson at the Deseret News website.