Road to the Oscars: The Shorts

From now until March 4th, the Oscars hype will follow some of the most popular names in filmmaking. The nominees for Documentary, Live Action, and Animated shorts, however, are rarely as eminent in theaters or for audiences. Short films are neither as accessible or as sought after as films with longer running times. Luckily, now’s the perfect time for you to change that before the Oscars air in March. Theaters like O Cinema and The Bill Cosford Cinema will be playing all of the nominees for the short film categories starting this weekend!

Short films mark the beginning for many filmmakers starting out in the industry. Directors like Sofia Coppola, Paul Thomas Anderson, Tim Burton, and Wes Anderson – to name a few – all launched their careers by making short films. Less filming means less editing and the ability for filmmakers to focus their attention on smaller details and nuances of their film. On the other hand, it’s monumentally more difficult to pack a full-length narrative into the span of less than 25 minutes as opposed to an hour and a half, so this format presents both challenges and benefits to up and coming filmmakers.

If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, you can see the Animated Shorts at O Cinema Wynwood on the 15th at 7 p.m. and the Live-Action Shorts at 8:45p.m.  On the 17th, you can conveniently watch all of them in one day at The Bill Cosford Cinema. They will be playing the Documentary Shorts at 1:30p.m., Live-Action at 5p.m., and the Animated at 7p.m.

Here is a list of all the nominees for the 3 short film categories in this year’s Oscars.

Short Film (Animated):

  1. Dear Basketball – This short is a visual interpretation of a letter written by Kobe Bryant announcing his retirement from basketball at the end of that season, narrated by Bryant and scored by John Williams. (Directed by Glen Keane & Kobe Bryant, USA, 5 mins.)
  2. Garden Party – In a deserted rich house, a couple of amphibians explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts. (Directed by Victor Caire & Gabriel Grapperon, France, in French with English subtitles, 7 mins.)
  3. Lou – A Pixar short about a lost-and-found box and the unseen monster within. (Directed by Dave Mullins & Dana Murray, USA, 7 mins.)
  4. Revolting Rhymes – Revolting Rhymes takes the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, then mixes them together and serves them with a mischievous twist. (Directed by Jakob Schuh & Jan Lachauer, UK, 29 mins.)
  5. Negative Space – Even though Sam’s father is hardly ever home because he is often away on business trips, he is able to connect with his son by teaching him how to pack a suitcase. (Directed by Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata, France, 5 mins.)

Short Film (Live-Action):

  1. DeKalb Elementary – Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia. (Directed by Reed Van Dyk, USA, 20 mins.)
  2. The Eleven O’Clock – The delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they each attempt to treat each other the session gets out of control. (Directed by Derin Seale & Josh Lawson, Australia, 13 mins.)
  3. My Nephew Emmett – At 2:30AM on August 28, 1955, in the most racially divided state in the country, 64-year-old Mose Wright tries to protect his 14-year-old nephew Emmett Till from two racist killers out for blood. Based on the true story of a 1955 case. (Directed by Kevin Wilson, Jr., USA, 20 mins.)
  4. The Silent Child – The Silent Child centers around a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl named Libby who is born into a middle class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication. (Dir. by Chris Overton & Rachel Shenton, UK, 20 mins.)
  5. Watu Wote/ All of Us – For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. Especially the border region between Kenya and Somalia is considered highly dangerous. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail. (Directed by Katja Benrath & Tobias Rosen, Germany, 22 mins.)

Documentary (Short Subject):

  1. Edith + Eddie – This documentary shines a light on the issues with the broken elder-care system using the story of Edith and Eddie who are an interracial, elderly, newlywed couple. (Directed by Laura Checkoway & Thomas Lee Wrights, USA, 29 mins.)
  2. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 – Mindy Alper is a tortured and brilliant 56-year-old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression have caused her to be committed to mental institutions undergo electroshock therapy and survive a 10-year period without the ability to speak. (Directed by Frank Stiefel, USA, 40 mins.)
  3. Heroin(e) – Three women in Huntington, West Virginia (known as the overdose capital of America) are attempting to take back their community by using compassion to break the cycle of despair and addiction. (Elaine McMillion Sheldon & Kerrin Sheldon, USA, 39 min.)
  4. Knife Skills – Aiming to become the best traditional French restaurant in America, the Edwins eatery is staffed primarily with men and women recently released from prison, who have only six weeks to learn the skills that will better their lives and propel the new venture to success. (Directed by Thomas Lennon, USA, 40 mins.)
  5. Traffic Stop – Traffic Stop tells the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas, who was stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalated into a dramatic arrest. (Directed by Kate Davis & David Heilbroner, USA, 30 mins.)

If you’re interested, here are the links to O Cinema and The Bill Cosford Cinema. You can check out their calendar of events for show times and buy tickets. 

Kimberly Morles is a Junior at FIU majoring in English. She is pursuing a certificate in Exile and Film Studies.

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