Oscar short documentary contenders named

6:21 PM PST 10/09/2009 by Gregg Kilday, AP

Short list includes 'Tell Them Anything You Want'

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Author Maurice Sendak, whose children's book "Where the Wilds Things Are" arrives on the big screen on Friday, also is the subject of one of eight short documentaries that will contend for Oscar honors at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards.

Spike Jonze, who directed "Wild Things," is one of the directors of the shortlisted film, "Tell Them Anything You Want, A Portrait of Maurice Sendak," that made the cut.

Thirty-seven films were submitted in the short doc category and on Friday the Academy's documentary branch released a list of the eight films that have been shortlisted. Three to five of them will be narrowed down when the nominations are announced Feb. 2.

The contenders are:

-- "China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province," from filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill and Downtown Community Television Center, which looks at the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Sinchuan Province last year.

-- "The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner," from Just Media, is a portrait of the former governor of the state of Washington who led a campaign on behalf of the state's Death with Dignity Act, which permits assisted suicide.

-- "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant," from Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert and Community Media Productions, which follows the closing of a GM plant in Moraine, Ohio.

-- "Lt. Watada," from Chanlim Films, a portrait of a U.S. Army lieutenant who refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006 because he believed the war was illegal.

-- "Music by Prudence," iThemba Productions, Inc.

-- "Rabbit a la Berlin," from Bartosz Konopka and MS Films, is the story of wild rabbits that lived between the Berlin Walls.

-- "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak," from Lance Bangs, Jonze and Outside Productions.

-- "Woman Rebel," from Kiran Deol and Women Rebel Films, about women rebel soldiers in Nepal.

The 82nd Academy Awards will be held March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.
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