Oscars 2018: Best Documentary Short Shortlist

Oh, whoops. Thought I posted this earlier. So I guess this is the final shortlist. Go figure, this is the forgotten category. Just like at the Oscars.

Because like you, I don’t have any clue what these things are. You find out when they announce them, you scour the internet for anything you can find about them and then you make broad generalizations about, “Well, they do like shorts about refugees…”

Apparently 104 films counted for this category, and they’ve shortlisted 10. So our lives were made easier by 90%.

Here is your Documentary Short Shortlist:

Black Sheep
End Game
Los Comandos
My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence.
’63 Boycott
Women of the Gulag

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes honestly should win this category on name alone.

But anyway, let’s find out what the hell these things are about:

Black Sheep — After the high-profile killing of Damilola Taylor, Cornelius’ family move out of London. But when they discover their new town is run by racists, Cornelius takes a drastic step to survive.

You can watch Black Sheep with Prime Video or here.

End Game — Filmed and edited in intimate vérité style, this movie follows visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death and are dedicated to changing our thinking about both.

End Game is available on Netflix.

Lifeboat — Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. LIFEBOAT puts a human face on one of the world’s greatest contemporary, global crises and provides a spark of hope surrounding how civil society can intervene in the refugee crisis in a meaningful way.

I do not think this is currently available to watch online.

Los Comandos — In El Salvador, gang violence has overrun the country, disproportionately targeting children and teenagers, and turning it into ‘The Murder Capital of the World’. The emergency medical unit, Los Commandos de Salvamento is one of the few institutions standing up to the gangs’ reign of terror, and is a place of refuge and community for young people. 16 year old Mimi is a dedicated Commando caught in the violence. When her friend and fellow Commando, 12 year old Erick Beltran, is gunned down while serving, she faces pressure to leave El Salvador and Los Commandos, and head north for a better life.

I do not think this is currently available to watch online.

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes — A short documentary that follows director Charlie Tyrell as he tries to uncover a better understanding of his deceased father through the random objects he inherited, including a pile of VHS dirty movies.

This is a NY Times OpDoc, so you can watch it here.

A Night at the Garden — Archival footage of an American Nazi rally that attracted 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden in 1939, shortly before the beginning of World War 2.

And you can watch that one, right here:

Period. End of Sentence. — In a rural village outside Delhi, India, women lead a quiet revolution. They fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation. “Period. End of Sentence.” — a documentary short directed by Rayka Zehtabchi — tells their story. For generations, these women didn’t have access to pads, which lead to health problems and girls missing school or dropping out entirely. But when a sanitary pad machine is installed in the village, the women learn to manufacture and market their own pads, empowering the women of their community. They name their brand “FLY,” because they want women “to soar.” Their flight is, in part, enabled by the work of high school girls half a world away, in California, who raised the initial money for the machine and began a non-profit called “The Pad Project.”

I do not think this is currently available to watch online.

’63 Boycott — 63 Boycott chronicles the Chicago School boycott of 1963 when more than 200,000 Chicagoans, mostly CPS students, marched to protest the segregationist policies of CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed aluminum mobile school units on vacant lots as a permanent solution to overcrowding in black schools. The Kartemquin film features then and now interviews with organizers and participants of the boycott with never-released 16mm footage of the march and student interviews. 63 Boycott and its companion website will provide a modern perspective on the impact and legacy of this forgotten history 50 years later as it reconnects the participants to each other and the event itself.

I do not think this is currently available to watch online.

Women of the Gulag — Survivors of the Gulags share their stories of repression and terror.

I do not think this is currently available to watch online.

Zion — A portrait of Zion Clark, a young wrestler who was born without legs and grew up in foster care.

This is available to watch on Netflix.

– – – – – – – – –

Based on nothing, here is my guess for a category:

End Game

Los Comandos

Period. End of Sentence.

’63 Boycott

Women of the Gulag

Honestly that’s just pure guessing. Zion sounds like it could get on, honestly most of these sounds like they could get on. I’ve done less than zero research on this.

But I’m not rooting for anything more than I’m rooting for “My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes.”

– – – – – – – – – – –


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