Speaking of his Oscar-nominated animated short We Can’t Live Without Cosmos—about a pair of cosmonauts prepping for a voyage—Konstantin Bronzit told The New Yorker: “[It’s] about our inability to live in human society without exiting, sometimes, to an open space where we can really breathe deeply and freely.”

The Russian filmmaker also said that he got the idea for We Can’t Live Without Cosmos in a dream, via one specific image that he includes in the film. (He doesn’t say which, though, so it’s up to the audience to figure that one out.) The short, which packs a remarkable range of emotions into just over 16 minutes, can be viewed online here.

Cosmos is up for the Oscar against Pixar’s Sanjay’s Super Team (it screened with The Good Dinosaur, which didn’t make the cut for Best Animated Feature); melancholy Chilean tale Bear Story; World of Tomorrow, from cult-beloved filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt; and war story Prologue, from Richard Williams, who previously picked up a Special Achievement Award from the Academy for his animation work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?