Congratulations are in order for Bay-area filmmaker Karina Epperlein and her beautiful and inspiring documentary short, PHOENIX DANCE. The 16-minute profile of professional dancer Homer Avila, undeterred by the loss of a leg (!), had its Southeast Premiere last March in the 2006 Florida Film Festival where it preceded Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan's equally moving SO MUCH SO FAST. Late last week it was announced that the doc short had officially made the "short list" of eight films under consideration for the 3-to-5 nominations to be chosen for the Academy Award in that category. The selections will be announced on January 23, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that this extraordinary work gets even further recognition from the Motion Picture Academy--I haven't seen the other films on the list but it's hard to imagine that there are five better.