A category of award at the Oscars that is fun to seek out prior to the big night are the Oscar Nominated Short Films. They have three categories: Live Action, Animation, and Documentary. Running time is 40 minutes or less for each nominated film.
They may be playing now at your local theater. I went to the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque to see the Animated shorts. They are playing through February 13th, and then the Documentary shorts will be screened beginning February 14th (just in time for date night on Valentine’s Day!), followed by Live Action shorts beginning on February 17th. Follow the Guild Cinema at: Guild Cinema Albuquerque
In addition to viewing the films in a theater, the nominated Live Action and Animation short films will also be available to buy online and on VOD/Pay Per View Platforms (AT&T, DirecTV, COMCAST, Cable Vision, XBOX, Sony, Century Link, Vimeo, Frontier & Google Fiber) so you can obtain them through these sources if they are not playing in your area.
I highly recommend making the effort to see these little gems. Often, filmmakers get a start in their career making these shorter films that they can show as hard evidence of their storytelling abilities, filmmaking, and directing skills, or production capabilities. They each have an intriguing story to tell and you can watch all the nominated films in one sitting, unlike going back and forth to the theater to watch the nominated much longer Best Picture films.
Disney or Pixar has been nominated every year for the last six years, winning two awards out of those six nominations. Not as well known production companies created the others, and the types of animation used can be quite experimental, not techniques I am very familiar with.
This year, I very much enjoyed the Animated shorts. There were the five nominated films shown along with three other honorable mention shorts. They were so diverse in terms of the techniques of animation that were used. Everything from a classic Pixar offering, to really different line drawings that come alive, to sketches that look like someone is creating them right on the screen. I don’t pretend to know anything about how animation is created; I just know I enjoy it, possibly like everyone who ever grew up watching cartoons on TV.
My question to all of you is how would you vote for the best-animated short? Would you give the largest percentage of your decision over to the type of animation it utilizes? Or would you go with which story tugged at your heartstrings the most? A well-developed story in such a brief amount of time is an art. Technique, style, and content all played a role in what was chosen out of the 70 films that qualified for the competition in the 2017 nominations for animated shorts.
I’ll be going back to the Guild Cinema this week to view the Documentary shorts, and later the Live Action shorts. I encourage you to seek these out. You won’t be disappointed.