Five years after winning this Oscar race for her film "Freeheld," Cynthia Wade is one of the eight semi-finalists for Best Documentary Short. Her new film, "Mondays at Racine," made the grade with members of the Documentary branch who screened 31 entries in all.
Now, using the same average scored system, branch members will watch these eight semi-finalists to come up the final five that will be revealed, along wlth the rest of the Oscar nominees, on Jan. 10.
Three of the other films are from past nominees while the other four are from documentarians who are hoping for their first Oscar bids.
Wade's documentary profiles two hair salon owners who open their doors to women with cancer, resulting in a blend of boisterous talk and personal reflection. The other seven films are as follows:
"Education of Mohammad Hussein" - A film about the largest Muslim community in America, how they respond to an anti-Islamic preacher, and how their children grow up a decade after 9/11. From Loki Films and directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. They were nominated at the Oscars for Best Documentary Feature in 2006 for "Jesus Camp."
"Inocente" - A homeless, struggling young immigrant tries to become a better artist under staggering odds. From Shine Global and directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix. They were nominated at the Oscars for Best Documentary Feature in 2007 for "War/Dance."
"Kings Point" - The American Dream seen through the humor and humanity of senior citizens living in a retirement community. From Kings Point Documentary and directed by Sari Gilman. She has no previous Oscar nominations.
"Open Heart" - A group of Rwandan children set out on a long journey away from their families to seek heart treatments that can save their lives. From Urban Landscapes and directed by Kief Davidson. He has no previous Oscar nominations.
"Paraiso" - The story of three immigrants working as window washers. From The Strangebird Company and directed by Nadav Kurtz. He has no previous Oscar nominations.
"The Perfect Fit" - A film looking at men who make ballet shoes and the women who dance in them. From SDI Productions and directed by Tali Yankelevich. He has no previous Oscar nominations.
"Redemption" - A look at people in New York who survive by collecting and returning glass bottles and soda cans. From Downtown Docs and directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill. They were nominated at the Oscars for Best Documentary Short in 2009 for "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province."