Oscar shortlist: 10 semi-finalists for Best Documentary Short

A screening committee drawn from documentary branch members has winnowed a field of 61 entries down to 10 semi-finalists for the Best Documentary Short Oscar using an averaged scoring system. As with last year, this marks an increase from the eight it has been in the past. (See the full list below.)

All members of the branch can take part in the second round which kicks off at year’s end and will be done by preferential voting. Five nominees will be announced along with the rest of the Academy Award contenders on Jan. 24. All members of the academy will receive DVDs of these nominees and can vote for the winner.

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“Brillo Box (3¢ Off),” Brillo Box Documentary

“Close Ties,” Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association

“Extremis,” f/8 Filmworks in association with Motto Pictures

“4.1 Miles,” University of California, Berkeley

“Frame 394,” Compy Films

“Joe’s Violin,” Lucky Two Productions

“The Mute’s House,” The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School

“The Other Side of Home,” Feeln

“Watani: My Homeland,” ITN Productions

“The White Helmets,” Grain Media and Violet Films

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As per the rules, a Documentary Short Subject is defined as a nonfiction motion picture “dealing creatively with cultural, artistic, historical, social, scientific, economic or other subjects” that is no more than 40 minutes in length.

Unlike the calendar-year eligibility for most of the other categories at the Oscars, these short films must meet screening requirements between Sept. 1, 2015 and Aug. 31, 2016. They must either: (i) be screened for seven says in either Los Angeles or Manhattan; (ii) win an award at a qualifying festival; or (iii) win a Student Academy Award.

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