Shorts are BIG this year… All the 2021 Oscar™ Nominated Shorts Reviewed

Just as reading a great short story can have an impact in a relatively few pages, short films also can entertain, inform and challenge us with limited running times. Most of our favorite filmmakers started their careers making short subjects. Which of this year’s Oscar™ nominated creators will be the makers of the next breakout independent film on their way to a studio blockbuster? You can watch and place your bets. And remember that this year the public has seen all nominated movies the same way most Academy members have been watching them for years—at home. 

 

The 2021 Academy Awards are on Sunday, April 25. The nominated short films have been collected into three programs, Animation, Live Action and Documentary, and are now playing in select theaters and on Virtual Cinema. Trailers and more information can found here

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The Truffle Hunters: A Flavorful Life

By C.J. Hirschfield

You may assume that the stars in this delectable new documentary feature are human; and some of them are. But when you experience an exhilarating dog’s eye-view of a hunt to find the rare and wondrous fungus and hear the excited snuffling sounds of success, you understand that there would be no truffle hunt without some very canny canines. Both they—and the aromatic white Alba truffles they hunt—are worth their weight in gold.

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Designing a Life

By C.J. Hirschfield

A couple of decades ago, I took a half-day off work to visit the first-ever tour of an historic 1909 Arts & Crafts house that featured its original furniture–many pieces by the man considered the father of the American Arts & Crafts movement, Gustav Stickley. Touring the glorious house in the required surgical booties, I was in heaven.

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A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

By Andrea Chase

In conversation after a watch party for A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION, co-subject and co-director (with Ben Proudfoot) Kris Bowers said that part of the reason he wanted to make the film because the Emmy™-winning composer thought his grandfather, Horace Bowers, Sr., was a hero. A hero who should be celebrated. He also wanted to have an in-depth conversation with him while the 91-year-old was still with us. The result is a tender and intimate portrait of strength, joy, and how family shapes us.

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Bedlam: The Shame Is On Us.

By C.J. Hirschfield

California has spent $13 billion in the last three years to tackle a massive homelessness problem made worse by the pandemic, yet its approach is fragmented and incomplete, the state auditor said in a report released this month. Homeless people suffering from mental illness– who make up over 40 percent of the people on the streets in Los Angeles alone– were not mentioned at all in the report’s summary.

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