The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the field of documentary short subject contenders for the 85th Academy Awards has been narrowed to eight films, of which three to five will earn Oscar nominations.
Voters from the Academy’s documentary branch viewed this year’s 31 eligible entries and submitted their ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers for tabulation.
The contenders are:
The Education of Muhammad Hussein – Loki Films
The Education of Muhammad Hussein takes the viewer inside a tightly knit Muslim community in the economically depressed Detroit-Hamtramck neighborhood, focusing on the children who attend a traditional Islamic school, Al-Ikhlas. The film captures a year where the kids and their neighborhood have an unwelcome visitor, notorious Koran-burning Florida preacher Terry Jones, who arrives to provoke them with hateful rhetoric and anti-Muslim demonstrations.
Inocente – Shine Global, Inc.
Inocente is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.
Kings Point – Kings Point Documentary, Inc.
A bittersweet look at our national obsession with self-reliance, Kings Point explores the dynamic tension between living and aging – between our desire for independence and our need for community – and underscores our powerful ambivalence toward growing old.
Mondays at Racine – Cynthia Wade Productions
Every third Monday of the month, two bold, brassy sisters open the doors of their Long Island hair salon to women diagnosed with cancer. As locks of hair fall to the floor, women gossip, giggle, weep, face their fears, and discover unexpected beauty.
Open Heart – Urban Landscapes Inc.
Open Heart is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life or death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state of the art cardiac hospital, the Salam Center run by the Italian NGO Emergency. Their heart valves, damaged and weakened by rheumatic heart disease, which develops from untreated childhood strep throat, leave them lethargic and weak. Some of the children have only months to live.
Paraíso – The Strangebird Company
Three immigrant window cleaners risk their lives every day rappelling down some of Chicago’s tallest sky-scrapers. Paraíso reveals the danger of their job and what they see on the way down.
The Perfect Fit – SDI Productions Ltd.
Ballet shoes may be worn by delicate girls, but they’re crafted by burly men whose hands tell another story. The Perfect Fit delves into the world of professional ballet dancing seen through the eyes of a shoemaker who desperately strives to make the shoe as comfortable as possible.
Redemption – Downtown Docs
No information was available at press time.