Hollywood Contenders – Looking at the Short Film categories

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If there’s a trio of categories that aren’t given the respect that they deserve (or frankly, any respect at all), it’s the short film categories. Be it Best Animated Short, Best Documentary Short, or Best Live Action Short, they all are mostly ignored by the masses, especially when the first two have feature length cousins in Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature to compete with as well. Still, they deserve to be noticed, so I wanted to quickly list what’s in contention this year. I’ve included the categories in my most recent Oscar prediction update, so there’s that as well. The Academy Awards are the sum total of all the categories, so these have their place, no doubt about that. It’s just a shame that more folks don’t recognize this.

Here are the three short subject categories and the remaining contenders on each of their short lists:

Animated Short

Bear Story (Historia De Un Oso), Gabriel Osorio, director, and Pato Escala, producer (Punkrobot Animation Studio)
Carface (Autos Portraits), Claude Cloutier, director (National Film Board of Canada)
If I Was God…, Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)
Love in the Time of March Madness, Melissa Johnson and Robertino Zambrano, directors (High Hip Productions and KAPWA Studioworks)
My Home, Phuong Mai Nguyen, director (Papy3D Productions)
An Object at Rest, Seth Boyden, director (California Institute of the Arts)
Prologue, Richard Williams, director, and Imogen Sutton, producer (Animation Masterclass)
Sanjay’s Super Team, Sanjay Patel, director, and Nicole Grindle, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)
We Can’t Live without Cosmos, Konstantin Bronzit, director (Melnitsa Animation Studio)
World of Tomorrow, Don Hertzfeldt, director (Bitter Films)

Documentary Short

Body Team 12, David Darg, director (RYOT Films and Vulcan Productions)
Chau, beyond the Lines, Courtney Marsh, director (Cynasty Films)
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, Adam Benzine, director (Jet Black Iris America)
50 Feet from Syria, Skye Fitzgerald, director (Spin Film)
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, director (SOC Films)
Last Day of Freedom, Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, directors (Living Condition)
Minerita, (Kanaki Films)
My Enemy, My Brother, Ann Shin, director (Fathom Film Group)
Starting Point, Michal Szczesniak, director (Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association)
The Testimony, Vanessa Block, director (Atria Film in association with Escape Artists)

Live Action Short

Ave Maria, Basil Khalil, director, and Eric Dupont, producer (Incognito Films)
Bad Hunter, Sahim Omar Kalifa, director, and Dries Phlypo, producer (A Private View)
Bis Gleich (Till Then), Philippe Brenninkmeyer, producer, and Tara Lynn Orr, writer (avenueROAD Films)
Contrapelo (Against the Grain), Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, director, and Pin-Chun Liu, producer (Ochenta y Cinco Films)
Day One, Henry Hughes, director (American Film Institute)
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut), Patrick Vollrath, director (Filmakademie Wien)
The Free Man (Zi You Ren), Quah Boon-Lip, director (Taipei National University of the Arts)
Shok, Jamie Donoughue, director (Eagle Eye Films)
Stutterer, Benjamin Cleary, director (Bare Golly Films)
Winter Light, Julian Higgins, director, and Josh Pence, producer (Innerlight Films and Prelude Pictures)

As you can see, these contenders aren’t really that well known. Only one really will have any true following, and that’s Sanjay’s Super Team, because it’s Pixar and will play before screenings of The Good Dinosaur in theaters (side note, I can vouch for it being quite good and possibly the frontrunner in the race right now). There’s also a small amount of hardcore fans of Don Hertzfeldt’s work, so there’s that as well. Basically, if any have a public profile, it’s ones from the Best Animated Short field, because they’re the easiest ones to potentially see. Still, they all deserve more attention than they’ve received so far. I’ll be doing some research and trying to bring you more on them soon, but right now I just wanted to shine a quick light on them and remind you all that they exist. Don’t sleep on these categories…

Stay tuned to see which contenders from these short film categories are nominated!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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