So you think you've seen all the Oscar-nominated films this year? Most likely, you're a few films short — the Oscar-nominated shorts, that is.
Now's your chance to catch up. Three local venues are screening programs of this year's Oscar-nominated short films, which are broken into three categories: animated, live action and documentary. The Great Neck Cinemas at The Squire and the Malverne Cinema and Art Center will screen the animated and live action titles, while Huntington's Cinema Arts Centre has all three categories. The total running time for each program is about the same as a feature film, though the documentary program lasts closer to three hours. The animated program also features a handful of non-nominated shorts as a bonus.
Short films generally don't get as much buzz as features, but they can be a good place to catch a rising star. Pixar's John Lasseter earned his first Oscar nod with the 1986 short "Luxo Jr.," which introduced the now-famous Pixar lamp. Taika Waititi, whose "Jojo Rabbit" is up for this year's best picture Oscar, got his first nomination for the 2004 live-action short "Two Cars, One Night." Cynthia Wade's 2007 Oscar-winning documentary short, "Freeheld," about a gay-rights battle in New Jersey, became the basis for a 2015 feature film starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore.
Here are six highlights from this year's 15 Oscar-nominated shorts:
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU'RE A GIRL) New York University professor Carol Dysinger directed this doc about Skateistan, a female skateboarding school in Afghanistan.
WALK RUN CHA-CHA A seven-year chronicle of a Southern California dance studio where Eastern Europeans teach Latin dance to Chinese students. The executive producer is Oscar-winning documentarian Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth").
A SISTER Delphine Girard’s live action short tells the story of a woman in distress who tries to make a surreptitious call to a 911 operator. It's a 16-minute thriller that "hits the ground running and never lets up," according to Indiewire.
THE NEIGHBORS' WINDOW Two New Yorkers, armed with binoculars, realize that the couple across the way has a much better sex life. This narrative short comes from Marshall Curry, now on his fourth Oscar nod.
DCERA (DAUGHTER) Daria Kashcheeva’s work of stop-motion animation, about a dying man and his emotionally distant child, has been praised for its stylish technique and moody atmosphere.
KITBULL In San Francisco's Mission District, a little black cat befriends a pit bull with an abusive master. Rosana Sullivan's animated short comes from Pixar’s experimental SparkShorts program, in which employees are given limited budgets and schedules to deliver their own films.