How To Watch All the Academy Award-Nominated Short Films

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Each year, the Academy Awards tends to put a huge focus on the feature films nominated for Best Picture, but there are other films that deserve your attention — particularly the short films. This year, the nominees in the three categories of shorts (Animated, Live-Action, and Documentary) cover everything from timely global issues to animated birds scared of huge ocean waves. The gripping documentary short Watani: My Homeland follows a family living in war-torn Aleppo while lighter fare comes in the form of Pixar’s animated short Piper which follows a hungry sandpiper hatchling trying to catch his morning meal.

If you haven’t seen any of the shorts (and you should before the Oscars on February 26), here is a helpful guide on where you can watch them.


SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

BLIND VAYSHA
Directed and written by: Theodore Ushev
Synopsis: This short film tells the story of Vaysha, a young girl born with one green eye and one brown eye. But colour isn’t the only thing that’s different about Vaysha’s gaze. While her left eye sees only the past; her right sees only the future. Like a terrible curse, Vaysha’s split vision prevents her from inhabiting the present. Blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she remains trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities. “Blind Vaysha,” they called her.

Where to watch: The short is blocked from being downloaded in the United States, but it will be screened in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.


BORROWED TIME
Directed and written by: Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
Synopsis: A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.

Where to watch: The film was once available on Vimeo but has been taken down. The short will now be screened in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.


PEAR CIDER AND CIGARETTES
Directed and written by: Robert Valley and Cara Speller

Synopsis: Drink and smoke…that’s what Techno Stypes really likes to do, and fight. He was in no condition to fight. He was sick, really sick. His disease had whittled him down to a shadow of his former self. He was crippled from a car accident when he was 17 but that’s not how he lost his big toe. He lost that in a motorbike accident, yeah he was broken alright… what the hell was he fighting for anyway and what was he still doing in China? His father had given me two clear instructions: 1. Get Techno to stop drinking long enough to receive the liver transplant, and 2. Get him back home to Vancouver. This was not going to be easy.

Where to watch: You can rent or buy the film on Vimeo.


PEARL
Directed and written by: Patrick Osborne
Synopsis: Set inside their home, a beloved hatchback, Pearl follows a girl and her dad as they crisscross the country chasing their dreams. It’s a story about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love. And finding grace in the unlikeliest of places.

Where to watch it: The entire film can be watched above.


PIPER
Directed and written by: Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer
Synopsis: A hungry sandpiper hatchling ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The only problem is that the food is buried beneath the sand where scary waves roll up onto the shore.

Where to watch: Available for purchase on YouTube.


SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

ENNEMIS INTÉRIEURS
Directed and written by: Sélim Azzazi
Synopsis: During the ’90s, Algerian terrorism reaches France. Two men. Two identities. One battle.

Where to watch: Available for purchase on iTunes.


LA FEMME ET LE TGV
Directed and written by: Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
Synopsis: A woman develops a bond with a train conductor after waving to his train every day for 30 years.

Where to watch: The film will screen in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.

 


SILENT NIGHTS
Directed and written by: Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
Synopsis: A volunteer at a homeless shelter falls in love with an undocumented immigrant from Ghana.

Where to watch: The film will screen in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.


SING
Directed and written by: Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, it follows an award winning school choir and the new girl in class who just might uncover the ugly secret behind their fame.

Where to watch: The film will screen in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.


TIMECODE
Directed and written by: Juanjo Giménez
Synopsis: Luna and Diego are the parking lot security guards. Diego does the night shift, and Luna works by day.

Where to watch: The film will screen in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.


DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

EXTREMIS
Directed by: Dan Krauss
Synopsis: Witness the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices.

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix.


4.1 MILES
Directed by: Daphne Matziaraki
Synopsis: The commander of a Coast Guard ship is charged with saving the lives of thousands of refugees.

Where to watch: The entire film can be watched above.


JOE’S VIOLIN
Directed by: Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
Synopsis: A Holocaust survivor donates his violin to a local instrument drive, changing the life of a schoolgirl from the nation’s poorest congressional district.

Where to watch: The entire film can be watched above.


WATANI: MY HOMELAND
Directed by: Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
Synopsis: Four young children live with their mother and father, a Free Syrian Commander, in a warzone in Aleppo, Syria. After their father is captured by ISIS, the children flee with their mother to Goslar, Germany, in a years-long journey that will test them all as they try to find a safe home in a foreign country.

Where to watch: The film will screen in various theaters across the country. Click here to find a theater near you.


THE WHITE HELMETS
Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
In Aleppo, the most important thing to remember is that all life is precious. The White Helmets search for survivors among the wreckage as bombs continue to fall. These ordinary men are extraordinary heroes.

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix.

 | Staff Writer
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