What’s up good people?! The Oscars are this Sunday and some potent documentary short films have tongues wagging, including ours at ITSASHORT.COM.
All five of the nominated shorts have one thing in common: all are impactful. These stories not only make you think; they rewire your entire being.
This year’s Oscar-nominated documentary shorts are a harrowing lot. Although there’s at least one uplifting effort — mind you, uplifting in a pass-me-a-tissue way — the five entries will likely have you reaching for your anti-depressant medications, states the Hollywood Reporter.
Needless to say, they pack quite a punch – the kind that will make you keel over. In the realm of filmmaking that is a great thing.
Thematically, these short films mine tough territory, like the Holocaust (Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah); honor killings (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness); the effects of Agent Orange (Chau, beyond the Lines); the Ebola Crisis in Liberia (Body Team 12) and the death penalty (Last Day of Freedom).
Three of the five nominated films are being distributed by HBO, including category favorite Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, about 90-year-old Claude Lanzmann, who created the most influential documentary on the Holocaust, Shoah. Here’s a quick peek at the trailer:
Another emotional powder keg is Chau, beyond the Lines, a short film about Vietnamese children and the deformities they have incurred due to their mothers’ exposure to Agent Orange, the herbicide deployed during the Vietnam War. It is one of those short films that will make you question your own life:
This is a film that reminds a viewer to stop complaining and making excuses about his or her own life because people find a way to be happy and accomplish their goals in spite of far greater adversity than most of the rest of us will ever face.
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness will simply shatter you. The HBO-distributed short film recounts the horrific story of a young Pakistani woman who survives an honor killing attempt by her father and uncle. Both men felt disrespected because the woman eloped to marry a man from a lower social class.
It is absolutely gripping. Yet, whether it wins or not, it stands to be the most impactful film at this year’s Oscars.
Notes New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof,
I don’t know whether “A Girl in the River” will win an Oscar in its category, short subject documentary, but it is already making a difference. Citing the film, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan has promised to change the country’s laws so as to crack down on honor killings.
Last Day of Freedom takes place a hemisphere away from the other Oscar nominees. Made in the Bay Area, this poignant, black-and-white animated short, which is available for streaming on Netflix, is according to the Berkeley Daily Planet, “an emotionally open 35-minute taped conversation with Bill Babbitt who tells the story of his little brother, Manny—an innocent child who grew up to become a US Marine and a combat hero, only to stumble into homelessness as a result of physical injuries and the unseen wounds in his head.”
Another astonishing fact about this film: it was made from 30,000 drawings. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at its creation:
Last week, itsashort.com profiled Body Team 12, which chronicles Director David Darg’s time with a team that collected and cremated the bodies of Ebola virus victims in Liberia —another filmic sledgehammer.
Feature films like The Revenant, The Big Short and Spotlight will garner the majority of the headlines this Sunday, but these documentary short films are noteworthy in their own right.
The 88th Academy Awards is set to air this Sunday night on ABC at 8:30 (EST)|5:30 (PST), and Comedian Chris Rock will serve as the master of ceremonies. Itsashort.com, along with the entire world, waits with bated breath to see what unfolds. Stay tuned.
Blind Date Rules
Itsashort.com will be at the SXSW Film Festival, which goes from March 11-19 in Austin, Texas. Not only will we be in the building, we will continue to be the premiere destination for quality short films.
We like to brag on the cool films we have up at our site. One such work is the hilarious, romantic short Blind Date Rules. We can all agree that blind dates are generally for the birds, but they can make for some entertaining stories.
Director Brie Eley gives us one as this poor, exasperated single gal finally decides to lay down some ground rules before going on yet another frightening blind date. The official trailer gives you just a hint of the hilarity:
Itsashort.com is proud to feature the full short at our site, which you can stream in ts entirety here. As you watch, try to resist those flashbacks of your own blind date misadventures. And if not, just laugh, because Blind Date Rules will provoke you to do so.
And Speaking Of SXSW…
The Short Films Program has officially been announced. Here’s the rundown: The 114 short films were selected from 4,784 short film submissions. They are featured across four categories: Narrative, Documentary, Animated and Midnight (shorts that feature sex, gore and hilarity). The film selections come from all over the world, from as far away as the Netherlands and to home-grown short films set in the Lone Star state.
SXSW will have its share of headliners, like acclaimed actors Don Cheadle, Jake Gyllenhaal and famed director Judd Apatow. Itsashort.com will be on the ground networking , advertising and socializing with all the good folks attending the nine-day festival. It should be a blast, and we’ll have plenty to report about our trip. Be on the lookout, ya’ll!
We love short films. Plus, we at itsashort.com want to introduce audiences to award-winning and award-nominated artists who create movies, web series and videos. Check out itsashort.com and register to see the wonderful work of these creatives here.