Those who make an effort to see as many of the films nominated for an Oscar as possible often run into a problem with the short films. They are shorter than the other nominees but many are as good as their longer counterparts.
This month’s presentation by Fresno Filmworks will help you get caught up with many of the short films in the running for this year’s Academy Awards.
That’s certainly the case with “Sanjay’s Super Team,” the short animated film from Pixar that was shown with “The Good Dinosaur.” The story of a first-generation Indian-American boy who is more interested in Western pop culture than family traditions should have been the full-length offering.
Director Sanjay Patel has written a smart story accented by a mix of animation styles. At its heart, it is the story of a father and son that has a strong universal appeal. It’s a great example of why it is always a treat to see the short films vying for Academy Award attention.
Equally as compelling both in story and animation style is “World of Tomorrow.” It’s the story of a little girl taken on a tour of her distant future. Director Don Hertzfeldt shows that if a story is compelling, the animation can be rather basic.
It’s not just the animated films that are so compelling. “Stutterer” tells the story of a lonely typographer whose speech impediment has made him fearful of relationships. Director Benjamin Cleary manages to deliver a mountain of emotions with minimal dialogue.
Here are the other films that will be shown.
“Ave Maria”: The routine of five Palestinian nuns is disturbed when an Israeli settler family’s car breaks down right outside the convent. Palestine/France/Germany.
“Day One”: New translator’s first day accompanying a U.S. Army unit as it searches for a terrorist. USA.
“Alles Wird Gut” (Everything Will be OK): Eight-year-old feels there’s something wrong with her father. Germany/Austria.
“Shok” (Friend): Friendship of two boys is tested during the Kosovo war. Kosovo/UK.
“Historia de un Oso” (Bear Story): Lonesome bear tells the story of his life through a mechanical diorama. Chile.
“We Can’t Live Without Cosmos”: Two cosmonauts try to make their common dream a reality. Russia.
“If I Was God”: Boy’s mind starts to wander while dissecting a frog in class.
“Taking Flight”: Story based on man who created the Radio Flyer.
“The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse”: Fox on a hunt faces an extraordinary mouse.
“The Loneliest Spotlight”: Look at a neglected spotlight.
“Catch It”: Highly commended animated film.
“Prologue”: Girl witnesses battle to the death. UK.
“Body Team 12”: Team must collect the victims at the height of the Ebola outbreak. Liberia.
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”: Story of survivor of deaths in the name of “honor” in Pakistan. Pakistan.
“Last Day of Freedom”: Man faces tough decision about his brother. USA.
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”: Vietnamese teen faces the reality of his dream to become a professional artist. USA/Vietnam.
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”: Look at the life and work of French director Claude Lanzmann. USA.
Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016
- 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, Live action
- 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, Animation
- 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, Animation
- 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, Live action
- 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, Documentary
- The Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave.
- Tickets $10 general admission, $8 students and seniors, $15 for any two programs