Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that the field of Documentary Short Subject contenders for the 89th Academy Awards has been narrowed to ten (10) films, of which five will earn a nominations
Voters from the Academy’s Documentary Branch viewed this year’s sixty-one (61) eligible entries and selected the following ten.
The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title.
4.1 Miles, Daphne Matziaraki, USA, 22'
Brillo Box (3¢ Off), Lisanne Skyler, USA, 40'
Extremis, Dan Krauss, USA, 24'
Frame 394, Rich Williamson, Canada and USA, 30'
Joe's Violin, Kahane Cooperman, USA, 24'
The Mute's House, Tamar Kay, Israel, 32'
The Other Side of Home, Nare Mkrtchyan, USA, 40'
Watani: My Homeland, Marcel Mettelsiefen, UK, 40'
The White Helmets, Orlando von Einsiedel, UK, 41
Więzi (Close Ties), Zofia Kowalewska, Poland, 18'
To read the press release go here. The nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network.
4.1 Miles by Daphne Matziaraki
Synopsis: In 2001, 20 Afghan refugees arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos. It was that year’s biggest news event, recalls Kyriakos, the coast guard captain. Back then, his job mostly entailed carrying out routine checks in the 4.1-mile-wide strait separating the island from the Turkish mainland. Those tranquil days are long gone. Kyriakos and his 10 colleagues are now called out hourly to save hundreds of people risking the crossing. Greek journalist Daphne Matziaraki joined the heroic captain for a single day: October 28, 2015. You can’t get any closer to this living nightmare. Matziaraki crawls with her camera among the drenched and drowning castaways searching for a safe haven on a flimsy boat. Some of them don’t make it. There are shocking images – who can ever get used to seeing men, women and children drowning? The scenes shot back on dry land form an effective counterpoint: from a static position, the camera films a sun-drenched table laden with food, while a coast guard boat speeds past and an approaching ambulance wails in the distance.
Brillo Box (3¢ Off) by Lisanne Skyler
Synopsis: In 1969, my parents bought an Andy Warhol Brillo Box for $1,000. An exact replica of the popular Brillo soap pad product package, Warhol’s Brillo Boxes were at first dismissed by the art world. But forty years later, in 2010, the same sculpture sold for $3,000,000 at a record-breaking Christie’s auction. This is the story of what happened in between. Brillo Box (3¢ off) follows this single sculpture as it makes its way from my family’s living room to the global art market, exploring the ephemeral nature of art and value.
Extremis by Dan Krauss
Synopsis: A purely observational non-fiction film that takes viewers into the ethically murky world of end-of-life decision making in a public hospital.
Frame 394 by Rich Williamson
Synopsis: In the glimmer of a shiny object, Daniel finds himself entangled in one of America’s most high-profile police shootings.
Joe's Violin by Kahane Cooperman
Synopsis: A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor donates his violin of 70 years to a local instrument drive, changing the life of a 12-year-old schoolgirl from the nation’s poorest congressional district, and unexpectedly, his own.
The Mute's House by Tamar Kay
Synopsis: Eight-year-old Yousef and his deaf mother Sahar are the last Palestinian residents of an otherwise deserted building in the Israeli part of the city of Hebron. Their island within the Jewish quarter is called “The Mute’s House” by Israeli soldiers, even though Sahar isn’t mute at all. Travel agencies have included the property in their tours. Yousef makes good use of his privilege to cross the border when he goes to school. Through the tour guides’ explanations, we learn the story of Yousef and Sahar, who bravely withstand all the threats and bullying. None of Yousef’s Palestinian classmates can come to his house, and filmmaker Tamar Kay isn’t allowed to cross the border to film the Palestinian quarter with Yousef. Despite his disability – Yousef was born with one arm – he amuses himself with the chickens, goats and rabbits that forage among the ruined neighboring houses, and he plays the guitar and video games. The remarkable situation elegantly illustrates the absurdity of the endless conflict.
The Other Side of Home by Nare Mkrtchyan
Synopsis: In 1915, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turks, in what historians call the first genocide of the 20th century. In 2015, a Turkish woman named Maya discovers that her great grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. As Maya wrestles with this new reality, she comes to embody the conflict that remains unresolved between the two people. She has two conflicting identities: one that suffers and the other that denies the suffering and its causes. The Other Side of Home is a documentary that follows Maya as she goes to Armenia to take part in the 100th commemoration of the Genocide and to explore her new-found roots. This film is a universal story of identity, denial, and how the experience of genocide creates a ripple effect for future generations on both sides.
Watani: My Homeland by Marcel Mettelsiefen
Synopsis: Four Syrian children are forced to flee their homeland and make a new life in Germany after their father is kidnapped by ISIS.
The White Helmets by Orlando von Einsiedel
Synopsis: A small group of volunteer heroes, the White Helmets defy death, dodging bombs and sniper fire, to rescue Syrians from the bombs that fall incessantly on their towns and cities. However, after three years and with no end in sight, even the heroes may need to be saved.
Więzi (Close Ties) by Zofia Kowalewska
Synopsis: Forty five years of marriage is an impressive anniversary. Barbara and Zdzisław could be proud of themselves if not for the fact that the husband left the wife for his lover eight years ago. But now they are together again, although Barbara claims that if it were not for his infirm legs, Zdzisław would still be chasing skirts around Kraków. Despite the past resentment, everyday problems with paying bills, an occupied bathroom and rearranging furniture, they have a hard to define bond.