The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has narrowed the field of contenders for the best documentary short film Oscar to eight films. Fifty-eight entries were submitted and viewed by members of the Academy’s documentary branch.
Three to five films will be chosen as nominees when nominations for the 87th Academy Awards are announced on Jan. 15.
The films treat topics that range from the trauma endured by America’s veterans, which is the focus of Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, which is scheduled to air on HBO, to a study of North Dakota’s oil boom, told through the eyes of three children and an immigrant mother in White Earth. Crisis is directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent, who has won several Emmys, while Earth, directed by Christian Jensen, won the prize for documentary short cinematography at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival.
Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz, concerns a mother, dying of an untreatable illness. Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, which has aired on PBS, directed by Jeff Dupre, offers a portrait of visual artist Kehinde Wiley. And The Lion’s Mouth Opens, which looks at actress Marianna Palka as she confronts the risk of Huntington’s Disease, is directed by Lucy Walker, who was nominated in the doc shorts category in 2012 for The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.
Zijian Mu‘s One Child, which focuses on three families in the wake of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, won a bronze medal in this year’s Student Academy Awards. Tomasz Sliwnski‘s Our Curse centers on a couple whose newborn child has a rare disease. And The Reaper (La Parka), directed by Gabriel Serra Arguello, takes as its subject a man who works in a slaughterhouse.
The films curently under consideration are:
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Perry Films
Joanna, Wajda Studio
Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, Show of Force
The Lion’s Mouth Opens, Tree Tree Tree
One Child, New York University
Our Curse, Warsaw Film School
The Reaper (La Parka), Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica
White Earth, Weary Traveler