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A glance at The Oscar’s short film category, who we think should win

Calling all people with short attention spans: the Academy Award nominees for short films are in close competition this year, with films addressing societal problems like mental illness and racism as well as films with fresh humor and impressive animation.

Continue reading for a list of the nominees and predictions of the winners:


Live Action Short

“The Silent Child”- Deaf four-year-old Libby lives in a world of silence until a social worker teaches her the magic of sign language. Directed by: Chris Overton

“Watu Wote”- Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks as mistrust between Christians and Muslims grow, until December 2015 where Muslim bus passengers show that solidarity is best. Directed by: Katja Benrath

“My Nephew Emmett”- Based on true events, a preacher in 1955 Mississippi attempts to protect his nephew from two racists out for revenge. Directed by: Kevin Wilson Jr.

“The Eleven O’clock”- A humorous take on the relationship between psychiatrist and patient. A delusional patient believes he is the doctor and things inevitably spin a little out of control. Directed by: Derin Seale

a hallway of an elementary school.
DeKalb Elementary is a heart-stopping story that puts you in the middle of a high tension situation of a school shooter. The bravery of a receptionist is the only thing of hope in such a terrifying ordeal. (Courtesy of ShortsTV)

Who should win:

“Dekalb Elementary”– Director Reed Van Dyk pulled material from an actual 911 call from an Atlanta, Georgia, school to use in this unsettling short. Dekalb Elementary is a school unsuspecting of the mentally unstable stranger named Stephen who walks into the main office with a semi-automatic weapon in hand. Watching this nearly unbearable tension will leave your heart pounding and broken for those who ever endure a public shooting, making it a frontrunner in this category. 

Animated Short

“Dear Basketball”- This hand-drawn animation is the collaboration of basketball star Kobe Bryant and animator Glen Keane exploring what it means to achieve your dreams and the feeling when it is time to leave it behind. Directed by: Glen Keane


“Negative Space”- This short follows a father-son relationship where the only shared connection is that of learning how to pack a suitcase. Directed by: Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata

“Garden Party”- In an abandoned villa, amphibians make themselves at home and soon uncover the whereabouts of the owner. Directed by: Florian Babikian, Vincent Bayoux, Victor Caire, Théophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grapperon and Lucas Navarro

“Lou”- Pixar shows an unsuspected hero in the playground drama of a toy-stealing bully. Directed by: Dave Mullins

an animated woman and wolf sit at a diner.
“RevoltingRhymes” is a humorous rendition of Roald Dahl’s book and how fairytales characters can unexpectedly be connected to one another. (Courtesy of ShortsTV)

Who should win:

“Revolting Rhymes”– The Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood tells his side of things and his relationships with characters like Snow White, Cinderella, and Jack, the climber of beanstalks. This short retells fairytales by Roald Dahl, with impressive voice acting, screenplay and animation skills. Playful humor and surprise twists make this film enjoyable for all age groups. Directed by: Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

Documentary Short

“Edith+Eddie”- at 95 and 96, Edith and Eddie are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds whose relationship could be in danger by a family feud. Directed by: Laura Checkoway

“Herion(e)”- an intimate look at solving America’s opioid epidemic, centered in Huntington, West Virginia, where the overdose rate is ten times the national average. Directed by: Elaine McMillion Sheldon

“Knife Skills”- Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, is about to open with a staff that is almost entirely men and women just released from prison. Can they make Edwin’s a world-class French restaurant? Directed by: Thomas Lennon

a woman working on a sculpture
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405” follows artist Mindy Alper on expressing her mental illness through drawing and sculpting. She tells a narrative of her childhood, the medications she takes, and the people who have helped her along the way. (Courtesy of ShortsTV)

“Traffic Stop”- a routine traffic stop turns violent and is all caught on vehicle dashcams. En route to jail, Breaion King has a revealing conversation with police about race and law enforcement in America. Directed by: Kate Davis

Who should win:

“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”– Mindy Alper is a brilliant 56-year-old artist finding success with one of the top galleries in Los Angeles. Her artwork is a direct representation of a lifetime of depression and mental disorders. She found the only way to express her mental state is through sculpting and illustrating, that has helped her grow from a life of dark resentment to love and support. Directed by: Frank Stiefel

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at and on Twitter @SarahEhrlich96.

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