2020 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Documentary
DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
The 2020 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Documentary
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS (to be offered as one program of 160 minutes)
Life Overtakes Me - John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson, Sweden/USA, 39 min. Synopsis: Life Overtakes Me tells the story of traumatized children of the refugee diaspora who are in such profound despair that they withdraw into a coma-like state. In Sweden, over 400 refugee children have been afflicted with this life-threatening psychosomatic illness, and the film accompanies two of them and their families on their frightening odyssey through Resignation Syndrome.
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) - Carol Dysinger, UK, 39 min. Synopsis: in Afghanistan, many young girls are not allowed to participate in sports. Cultural and religious norms, along with other factors such as safety concerns and years of warfare, have resulted in limited athletic and recreational opportunities for women and girls,especially those who come from impoverished neighborhoods. But there is a new generation of Afghan girls who believe they can do anything. Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) tells the story of young Afghan girls learning to read, write - and skateboard - in Kabul.
In the Absence - Yi Seung-Jun, South Korea, 28 min. Synopsis: When the passenger ferry MV Sewol sank off the coast of South Korea in 2014, over three hundred people lost their lives, most of them schoolchildren. Years later, the victims’ families and survivors are still demanding justice from the national authorities.
Walk Run Cha-Cha - Laura Nix, USA, 21 min. Synopsis: Paul and Millie Cao fell in love as teenagers in Vietnam but were soon separated by the war. Years later they finally reunited in California. Now, after decades of working hard to build new lives, they are making up for lost time on the dance floor. Shot over a period of six years, Walk Run Cha-Cha is an intimate, beautifully-crafted story about immigration, transformation and the power of love.
St. Louis Superman - Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, USA, 28 min. Synopsis: Bruce Franks Jr., a Ferguson, Missouri activist and battle rapper who was elected to the overwhelmingly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives, must overcome both personal trauma and political obstacles to pass a bill critical for his community.
Were this program MPAA rated, it would likely be rated R. The films deal with global political issues: the refugee crisis; the education of girls and women in Afghanistan; activism in Ferguson Missouri.
There are more women nominated for overseeing documentary short films this year (6) than have ever been nominated for best director (5). The majority of the shorts across all categories are foreign. Issues discussed range from an under-publicized condition plaguing refugees to a celebration of black ...