Auf der Strecke (On the Line) has failed to win an Oscar for Best Short Live Action Film.
Despite winning more than 50 awards around the world, the graduation film of Swiss director Reto Caffi was beaten in Los Angeles on Sunday night by Jochen Alexander Freydank for his Holocaust minidrama, Spielzeugland (Toyland).
Caffi, 37, was hoping to become the first Swiss actor or director to win an Oscar since 1991.
Despite having a good chance, Caffi admitted to swissinfo before the awards that he was worried about Toyland. "The Second World War and the subject of Jewish deportation always tend to have a great impact on Academy members," he said.
In other categories, Japan's Departures, a film about a classical musician who prepares bodies for burial, won the Oscar for best foreign language film in an upset over the favoured Israeli entry Waltz With Bashir.
Slumdog Millionaire took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars,
including best director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film's unlikely rise to Hollywood's summit.
The other top winners were: Britain's Kate Winslet, best actress for the Holocaust drama The Reader; Sean Penn, best actor for the title role of Milk; Heath Ledger, supporting actor for The Dark Knight; and Spain's Penelope Cruz, supporting actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.