Guide to Oscar Short Category Nominees

"The Gruffalo," directed by Max Lang and Jakob Schuh.

Unlike more risk-averse big-budget Hollywood fare, these films roam the world in search of the humorously eccentric and explosively political.


Killing In the Name
Dir. Jed Rothstein
After dozens of family members die in a suicide bombing at his wedding, Ashraf Al-Khaled goes on a one-man global tour to expose the horrors of terrorism for both the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

Poster Girl
Dir. Sara Nesson
A look at the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on an unlikely subject: Iraq veteran Robynn Murray, a former cheerleader who once graced the cover of Army magazine.

Strangers No More
Dirs. Karen Goodman, Kirk Simon
A Tel Aviv school educates children from all over the world fleeing poverty, political adversity and genocide. Goodman and Simon have each been nominated three times in the documentary short and feature categories, respectively.

Sun Come Up
Dirs. Jennifer Redfearn, Tim Metzger
A timely look at how global warming is transforming the lives of 3,000 residents of the Carteret Islands, a former paradise they might have to flee to survive.  

The Warriors of Qiugang
Dirs. Ruby Yang, Thomas Lennon
The film centers on the fight between rural China villagers and a chemical company poisoning their land and water.


Day & Night
Dir. Teddy Newton
In a classically Pixar plot, Day and Night find themselves in a battle that escalates comically. Animation veteran Newton got his start at Pixar as a character designer on Brad Bird’s The Incredibles.

The Gruffalo
Dirs. Max Lang, Jakob Schuh
Schuh and Lang adapted the classic children’s book about a clever mouse who invents a fictional monster to scare off predators, only to come face to face with the terrifying creature of his imagination.

Let’s Pollute
Dir. Geefwee Boedoe
The glories of pollution are celebrated in this irreverent sendup of educational films of the 1950s and ’60s.

The Lost Thing
Dirs. Andrew Ruhemann, Shaun Tan
Based on a picture book by Tan, this award-winning short tells the story of a young boy who tries in vain to find a home for a strange creature and in the process encounters an indifferent world.

Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage
Dir. Bastien Dubois
Designed as an animated travel book, this visually arresting short looks at the
Malagasy custom of “rolling the bones,” wherein families dance around the corpses of loved ones.


The Confession
Dir. Tanel Toom
An innocent prank before his first confession turns tragic for 9-year-old Sam and his friend in the Estonian director’s follow-up to The Second Coming, which won a student Oscar in 2010.

The Crush
Dir. Michael Creagh
In Creagh’s directorial debut, an 8-year-old is so smitten with his teacher that he challenges her fiance to a duel.

God of Love
Dir. Luke Matheny
A former copy editor who once wrote synopses for Netflix, Matheny’s lighthearted tale of a lounge singer-cum-darts champion was his thesis for NYU’s graduate film program.

Na Wewe
Dir. Ivan Goldschmidt
Translating to “You Too” in Kirundi, Na Wewe chronicles the horror of 1990s Burundi: Rebels
control the fate of a bus filled with civilians, but it is impossible to tell Tutsi from Hutu.

Wish 143
Dirs. Ian Barnes, Samantha Waite
An audience award winner in Palm Springs and best short at the British Independent Film Awards, the film centers on a young man desperate to come of age before time runs out.