The Oscar Nominated Short Film Series is now in its sixth year and more popular than ever. This year, to further up the ante at water coolers across the U.S. and Canada, the series includes for the first time the nominated Documentary Shorts. Last year, the Shorts theatrical run crossed the million dollar marker, experiencing an incredible 298% growth in revenue since its 2005 inception.
Early numbers from opening weekend already indicate that this will be more than matched. Indiewire reports that the series opened on 95 screens with a per-theater average of $3,211. New York City’s IFC Center has already exceeded last year’s gross by 10% and, in fact, had their third best opening weekend ever. 40 more runs open on Feb. 18 and more are planned all the way into March. The nominated short films will also be available via iTunes starting Feb. 22 and via Movies on Demand. For more info, visit the official series website.
Here’s a summary of this year’s contenders.
Let’s Pollute (USA)
Director: Geefwee Boedoe
Writers: Geefwee Boedoe, Tim Crawfurd, Teddy Newton
Producer: Geefwee Boedoe
In the spirit of 50’s and 60’s educational films, this film is a modern satire about how pollution is our heritage and keeps our economy strong.
Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (France)
Writer: Bastien Dubois
Producer: Ron Dyens, Aurélia Prévieu
A visual travel journal about a trip to the vibrant, musical, and colorful country of Madagascar.
The Lost Thing (Australia, UK)
Directors/Writers: Andrew Ruhemann, Shaun Tan
Producer: Sophie Byrne
A young boy discovers a marvelous creature on a beach which is clearly out of its element, and tries to help it find its way home.
The Gruffalo (UK, Germany)
Directors: Max Lang, Jakob Schuh
Writers: Julia Donaldson, Max Lang, Jakob Schuh
Producers: Martin Pope, Michael Rose
Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane
A small brown mouse takes an adventurous walk through a dark deep wood, encountering dangerous creatures.
Day & Night (USA)
Director/Writer: Teddy Newton
Producer: Kevin Reher
When Day encounters Night, they are at first suspicious of each other. After discovering each other’s unique qualities they gain a new perspective and appreciation.
The Confession (UK)
Director: Tanel Toom
Writer: Caroline Bruckner
Producer: Emily Williams
Cast: Aran Bell, Joe Eales, Lewis Howlett, James Simmons
A childish prank turns tragic in this film about the first confession for two young boys.
The Crush (Ireland)
Director/Writer: Michael Creagh
Producer: Damon Quinn
A schoolboy decides to challenge his teacher’s boyfriend to a duel for her affections.
God of Love (USA)
Director/Writer: Luke Matheny
Producers: Gigi Demant, Ryan Silbert, Stefanie Walmsley
Cast: Luke Matheny, Marian Brock, Christopher Hirsh, Emily Young, Miguel Rosales
Filmed in black & white which gives it the look of a Bohemian romance from the early 60’s, this story is about a lounge singer with a hopeless crush on the drummer in his band who only has eyes for another of the band members. A mysterious gift purports to be the answer to his prayers.
Na Wewe (Belgium)
Director: Ivan Goldschmidt
Writers: Ivan Goldschmidt, Jean-Luc Pening
Producer: Ivan Goldschmidt
Cast: Renaud Rutten
Set in the horror of Burundi’s 1994 civil war, rebels attack a minivan carrying ordinary citizens and attempt to sort them according to their ethnic group.
Wish 143 (UK)
Director: Ian Barnes
Writer: Tom Bidwell
Producer: Samantha Waite
Cast: Jim Carter, Jodie Whittaker, Dean Andrews
A teenaged boy who is dying is granted one wish from a charity. He doesn’t want to go to Disneyland or meet a pop star, however. What David wants is an hour alone with a naked woman.
Killing in the Name (USA)
Director: Jed Rothstein
Producer: Jed Rothstein, Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy
A suicide bomber kills 27 people at a wedding. Ashraf, the groom, comes out of this experience with a mission to confront global terrorism.
Poster Girl (USA)
Director: Sara Nesson
Producer: Mitchell Block, Sara Nesson
Former Cheerleader, Iraq War Veteran Sgt. Robynn Murray exhibits rare courage in the battlefield but returns home to find there is something even worse than combat – post-traumatic stress disorder.
Strangers No More (USA)
Directors/Producers: Karen Goodman, Kirk Simon
A school in Tel Aviv gathers together children from 48 different countries and diverse backgrounds to learn, many of them in the wake of poverty and genocide.
Sun Come Up (USA, Papua New Guinea)
Director/Producer: Jennifer Redfearn
This is the story of the Carteret Islanders, the world’s first environmental refugees, as they search for new homes in war torn Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.
The Warriors of Qiugang (USA)
Director: Ruby Yang
Writer: Thomas Lennon
Villagers in a remote district of central China take on a chemical company that is poisoning their water and air.