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A Guide to the Oscar Short List of Eight Documentary Shorts (TRAILERS)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 10, 2013 at 4:18PM

The documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has narrowed the field of Documentary Short Subject contenders to eight films from 40 eligible entries for the 86th Academy Awards. Three to five will earn Oscar nominations.
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'CaveDigger'
'CaveDigger'

The documentary branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has narrowed the field of Documentary Short Subject contenders to eight films from 40 eligible entries for the 86th Academy Awards. Three to five will earn Oscar nominations. After checking out the info available on these films, I have to say that the trailer for "The Lady in Number Six," below, reduced me to tears.

'Recollections'
'Recollections'

The eight films are listed below in alphabetical order: 

“CaveDigger,” Karoffilms

Ra Paulette digs massive art caves into the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico. Each creation takes years to complete. Winner Best Non-Euro Documentary - 2013 ECU The European Independent Film Festival.

“Facing Fear,” Jason Cohen Productions, LLC.

This Outfest audience award-winner tells the improbable story of how an ex-neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime attack meet 25 years later. Together, they try to forgive and get past their beliefs and fears, eventually becoming friends. 

“Jujitsu-ing Reality,” Sobini Films

A screenwriter copes with Lou Gehrig's disease.

'Jujitsu-ing Reality'
'Jujitsu-ing Reality'

“Karama Has No Walls,” Hot Spot Films

Through the lenses of two cameramen and the accounts of two fathers, this film retells the story of the March 2011 uprising that changed Yemen, the 2011 Yemeni revolution called The Friday of Dignity. When pro-government snipers shot dead 53 protestors, it shook the nation and propelled hundreds of thousands more to flock to the square in solidarity with their fellow citizens.

“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” Reed Entertainment

Malcolm Clarke's heart-tugger profiles 109-year-old Alice Herz Sommer, the world's oldest pianist and holocaust survivor, who played in a concentration camp orchestra.

“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall,” Prison Terminal LLC

A cinema verite account of how hospice care by fellow inmates can touch the lives of the incarcerated in a maximum security prison. The film shot for six months inside the Iowa State Penitentiary.

“Recollections,” notrac productions

A community of tsunami survivors holds onto its existence through pictures recovered from the debris.

“SLOMO,” Big Young Films and Runaway Films

Depressed Dr. John Kitchin abandons his career as a neurologist and moves to Pacific Beach to transform into rollerblade enthusiast SLOMO.

Trailers below. 

This article is related to: Shorts, Short Film, Documentary, Awards, Awards, Academy Awards, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Oscars


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.