Oscar Nominated Shorts 2013
The live action program is 114 minutes long and includes films from several different countries, like South Africa’s Asad by Bryan Buckley, a dramedy set in war-torn Somalia that seems to be more than a little inspired by Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, or Afghanistan’s Buzkashi Boys by Sam French, a coming-of-age tale about two boys in Afghanistan who love the national sport, known as Buzkashi, which is sort of like polo but with a dead goat, or France and Belgium’s Death of a Shadow by Tom Van Avermaet, a strange sci-fi/thriller/romance tale that tells the story of a soldier who collects the portraits of the shadows of those who die in order to regain his own life, set during WWI and starring Rust and Bone‘s Matthias Schoenaerts.
The United States has Curfew, written by, directed by and starring Shawn Christensen, a delightful dark comedy about a man at the end of his rope who finds a little hope when his sister calls him desperately seeking a babysitter for her 9-year-old daughter. While Canada is represented by Henry by Yan England, with a story in the vein of Haneke’s Best Picture nominee Amour, telling the story about a man struggling to come to terms with that fact that he is at the end of his life.
Keif Davidson, Jon Alpert & Matthew O’Neill, Sean Fine & Andrea Nix, Cynthia Wade, Sari Gilman, Yan England, Shawn Christensen, Tom Van Avermaet, Sam French, Bryan Buckley, John Kahrs, David Silverman, Timothy Reckart, PES, Minkyu Lee
The documentary portion is 209 minutes long and is presented with an intermission. It features King’s Point by Sari Gilman with yet another film set at the end of their life, following five seniors living in a typical retirement home in Florida. While Mondays at Racine by Cynthia Wade features sisters who open their beauty salon up for free every third Monday to women undergoing chemotherapy.
In Inocente by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix, they follow a fifteen-year-old undocumented immigrant who is determined to make it as an artist in America, while Redemption by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill takes a look at the proud, but poor people of the New York City street, in contrast to Open Heart by Keif Davidson, which follows eight Rwandan refugees attempting to get much-needed open heart surgery in Sudan.
These programs are a must-see for anyone trying to see everything nominated at this year’s Academy Awards, but even if you aren’t, they offer a rare non-festival chance to see some of the most compelling work done in contemporary cinema.