Is there anything harder than predicting who will win the short film categories at the Oscars? Yes there is and it’s predicting who will get nominated for the short film categories at the Oscars! Well, my fellow Derbyites, we here at Gold Derby are here to help. With the shortlist revealed for all the short film categories and the categories now available to forecast in our predictions center, we’re giving you all the details about the 10 finalists for Best Live Action Short Film. You can use this cheat sheet summary to help you single out which ones will have the edge to score a nomination.
“Bittu” – Two girls in a close friendship find their relationship overtaken when they are accidentally poisoned at school.
“Da Yie” – Two kids are taken on a life-altering trip by a stranger.
“Feeling Through” – A deep bond develops between an at-risk teen and a deaf-blind man who meet on the streets of New York City.
“The Human Voice” – A woman and a dog deal with abandonment from the person that’s supposed to care about them. The short is written and directed by Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar (Original Screenplay, “Talk to Her,” 2002) and stars another Oscar winner, Tilda Swinton (Supporting Actress, “Michael Clayton,” 2007).
“The Kicksled Choir” – 10-year-old Gabriel wants to sing in the local choir. When his father gets into a fight with a local refugee who’s been aided by the choir, Gabriel’s journey to join the choir becomes much more complicated.
“The Letter Room” – After an officer at a prison is transferred to the mail room, he begins to find himself engrossed in the very private life of one of the prisoners. Stars Oscar Isaac.
“The Present” – A man, along with his young daughter, in the West Bank must navigate soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints in order to get his wife an anniversary present.
“Two Distant Strangers” – A cartoonist attempts to get home to his dog but is thwarted by a deadly meeting and is forced to repeatedly re-live the same terrible day.
“The Van” – A man participates in fights in order to be able to leave his home country of Albania with the hopes of taking his father with him.
“White Eye” – A man attempts to maintain his humanity when he tries to retrieve his stolen bicycle that is now in the possession of a stranger.
One of the noticeable trends with this category is the tendency for nominated films to center around children in some way. This already applies to several of the winners from recent history including ” Le Mozart des Pickpockets” (2007), “Toyland” (2008), “Curfew” (2012), “Helium” (2013), “Sing” (2016), “The Silent Child” (2017) and “Skin” (2018).
This trend has also extended to past nominees in the category including “Nefta Football Club” (2019), “Saria” (2019), “Detainment” (2018), “Fauve” (2018), “Mother” (2018), “Shok” (2015), “Everything Will Be Okay” (2015), “Boogaloo and Graham” (2014), “Parvaneh” (2014), “Buzkashi Boys” (2012), “Asad” (2012), “Raju” (2011) and “Pentacost” (2011).
Voters have also tended to go for films with recognizable faces in them in more recent years. In 2018, “Skin” got some assistance from having Jonathan Tucker in it’s lead role and last year’s winner, “The Neighbor’s Window,” got an assist from Maria Dizzia starring in the main role. Two of this year’s finalists fit that bill: “The Human Voice” (starring Swinton) and “The Letter Room” (starring Isaac).
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