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Friday, January 22, 2016

Trailer Watch: the 2016 Oscar-Nominated Short Films


I know many of us are feeling...a kind of way about this year's Oscar nominations. But, well, the show must still go on. Which means we still have to fight over which movies we think should (and will) win the grand prize.

But, confession: I have yet to watch any of the nominated short films. A pity, because in the 20 or so minutes it takes to watch them, they might be more riveting than of the 3-hour films nominated in the feature length film categories.

Anyway, I digress.

The Short Movie Channel has just released a trailer capturing all 15 of the nominated films in one 1.5-minute video. But before you check it out, refresh your memory of all the nominees here:

LIVE ACTION

AVE MARIA

Five nuns living in the West Bank find their routine disrupted when the car of a family of Israeli settlers breaks down outside the convent. Unable to use the telephone due to Sabbath restrictions, the family needs help from the nuns, but the sisters' vow of silence requires them to work with their visitors to find an unorthodox solution.

DAY ONE

On the heels of a painful divorce, an Afghan-American woman joins the U.S. military as an interpreter and is sent to Afghanistan. On her first mission, she accompanies troops pursuing a bomb-maker, and must bridge the gender and culture gap to help the man's pregnant wife when she goes into labor.

EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY? (ALLES WIRD GUT)

Michael, a divorced father devoted to his eight-year-old daughter, Lea, picks her up for their usual weekend together. At first it feels like a normal visit, but Lea soon realizes that something is different, and so begins a fateful journey.

SHOK

In Kosovo in 1998, two young boys are best friends living normal lives, but as war engulfs their country, their daily existence becomes filled with violence and fear. Soon, the choices they make threaten not only their friendship, but their families and their lives.

STUTTERER

For a lonely typographer, an online relationship has provided a much-needed connection without revealing the speech impediment that has kept him isolated. Now, however, he is faced with the proposition of meeting his online paramour in the flesh, and thereby revealing the truth about himself.

ANIMATION

BEAR STORY

Every day, a melancholy old bear takes a mechanical diorama that he has created out to his street corner. For a coin, passersby can look into the peephole of his invention, which tells the story of a circus bear who longs to escape and return to the family from which he was taken.

PROLOGUE

2,400 years ago, four warriors -- two Spartan and two Athenian -- battle to the death in an intense struggle witnessed by a little girl, who then runs to her grandmother for comfort.

SANJAY’S SUPER TEAM

Young Sanjay, a first-generation Indian-American, is obsessed with television, cartoons and his superhero action figures. He is reluctant to spend time in daily prayers with his devout Hindu father, but a flight of imagination helps him develop a new perspective that he and his father can both embrace.

WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT COSMOS

Two best friends have dreamed since childhood of becoming cosmonauts, and together they endure the rigors of training and public scrutiny, and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve their shared goal.

WORLD OF TOMORROW

A little girl named Emily is taken on a fantastical tour of her distant future by a surprising visitor who reveals unnerving secrets about humanity's fate.

DOCUMENTARY

BODY TEAM 12, AN HBO PRODUCTION

In Monrovia, Liberia, Garmai Sumo is the only female member of Body Team 12, one of the many teams collecting the bodies of those who died from Ebola during the height of the 2014 outbreak. Despite the perilous nature of her job and the distrust with which she is often met, Garmai remains dedicated to her work.

CHAU, BEYOND THE LINES, AN HBO PRODUCTION

Chau, a teenager living in a Vietnamese care center for children born with birth defects due to Agent Orange, struggles with the difficulties of realizing his dream to become a professional artist and clothing designer. Despite being told that his ambitions are unrealistic, Chau is determined to live an independent, productive life.

CLAUDE LANZMANN: SPECTRES OF THE SHOAH, AN HBO PRODUCTION

Thirty years after the release of the documentary SHOAH, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann discusses the personal and professional difficulties he encountered during the more than 12 years it took to create the work. Lanzmann also discusses his relationships with Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and his teenage years spent fighting in the French Resistance during World War II.

A GIRL IN THE RIVER: THE PRICE OF FORGIVENESS, AN HBO PRODUCTION

Every year, more than 1,000 girls and women are the victims of religiously motivated honor killings in Pakistan, especially in rural areas. Eighteen-year-old Saba, who fell in love and eloped, was targeted by her father and uncle but survived to tell her story.

LAST DAY OF FREEDOM, AN HBO PRODUCTION

When Bill Babbitt realized that his brother Manny had committed a crime, he agonized over the decision to call the police, knowing that Manny could face the death penalty but hoping he would instead receive the help he needed. Manny, an African-American veteran who served two tours in Vietnam, suffered from PTSD and had found it difficult to obtain healthcare.

Each of these films will release in theaters January 29th and will be available On Demand February 23rd.

I plan to watch all of these very soon, so I will report back!

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