Every year at the Oscars there are a few categories most people pay little attention to or just wholly ignore – the Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short. It is certainly not that these awards are any less deserving, but rather most people have not had the chance to see these mini films. In fact, I acknowledge the reality that I had not seen any of the two categories’ nominees either in my Oscar Preview and Predictions article, which you can read here.
Without a traditional theatrical release or much media acknowledgement, these films most often play as part of film festivals, including our city’s very own New Orleans Film Festival (which screened two of the eventual nominees way back in October).
If because of this, you feel left out of the Oscar loop, fret no more because the New Orleans Film Society and the Prytania Theatre are sponsoring a special, one night only screening of all ten of the Academy Award-nominated short films.
As announced on January 25th, the nominees are:
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Day & Night
When Day, a sunny fellow, encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly darker moods, sparks fly! Day and Night are frightened and suspicious of each other at first, and quickly get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other’s unique qualities – and come to realize that each of them offers a different window onto the same world-the friendship helps both to gain a new perspective. From Pixar Animation.
A cunning mouse goes for a walk in the forest and outwits a succession of predators. Featuring the voices of Helena Bonham Carter (also nominated for The King’s Speech), Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt, and Robbie Coltrane.
In the spirit of 50’s & 60’s educational films, ‘Let’s Pollute’ is a modern satire on how pollution is our heritage and keeps our economy growing strong, while instructing us how to be better polluters for a better blighted tomorrow.
The Lost Thing
A boy finds a strange creature on a beach, and decides to find a home for it in a world where everyone believes there are far more important things to pay attention to.
Madagascar: A Journey Diary (Madagascar, carnet de voyage)
A European traveler arrives in Madagascar for the first time. While the tourist is struck by the beauty of the nation and its people, he quickly discovers he has a great deal to learn about the Malagasy way of life.
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
Quiet and sincere 9-year-old Sam is worried about making his first confession. His conscience is clear, therefore he cannot hope for any relief from the experience. He and his friend Jacob decide to remedy that situation, but their initially innocent prank turns unexpectedly tragic.
An 8 year old schoolboy is so besotted with his teacher that he challenges her boyfriend to a duel . . . to the death.
God of Love
A lovestruck, lounge-singing darts champion finds his prayers are answered – literally – when he mysteriously receives a box of love-inducing darts.
1994 or thereabouts. There is a civil war on in Burundi. A genocidal conflict opposing Hutus and Tutsis… We are witnesses to one of those sadly frequent episodes : the attack by the rebels of a minibus transporting ordinary passengers. A Kalashnikov bursts out. The bus stops, the passengers get off. There follows a «selection» separating Hutus and Tutsis. But who is a Hutu, who is a Tutsi?
Tells the story of a young man desperate to come of age before time runs out.
As mentioned before, two of these films (Madagascar: A Journey Diary and God of Love) screened in-competition division at the 2010 New Orleans Film Festival. God of Love received the Festival Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short.
For the sixth year in a row, Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures will present the Oscar-nominated Shorts Program, featuring the live-action and animated short films all in place and available to mainstream audiences across the country. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to see all these short films and truly be on top of your game for the Oscar ceremony.
The New Orleans screening of the Oscar-nominated shorts will take place at the Prytania Theatre (5339 Prytania Street) beginning Friday, February 11th. The Animated Shorts start 6:00 pm and the Live Action Shorts follow immediately after at 8:00 pm. Weekday shows run at alternating times, visit the Prytania website for more info and showtimes.
Tickets for the event are $6.50 for NOFS members and $8.50 general admission and can be purchased at the Prytania Theatre box office or online at the theatre’s website.
The Academy Awards Shorts program is a part of the Prytania Theatre’s “Best Picture series” currently running at the local theater up through the Oscar telecast. Also included in this series are The King’s Speech, Black Swan, True Grit, and The Fighter.
Please visit the New Orleans Film Festival website for more information about this screening, other events, and membership info.
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