Award season is in full swing and that means Oscar time. Yesterday marked the first step, as hundreds of films that qualified for in the three short film categories: Live Action, Animation, and Documentary were whittled down to 10 film shortlists respectively. These lists will, in turn, be voted on and come January each will be further pared to 5 nominees.

We’ve seen a progressive tilt towards online from filmmakers, sales agents, and distributors over the years, but this season felt like a real tipping point. Short of the Week, over the past few months, fielded a vast amount of interest from qualified films hoping to be featured and the vast majority of the 30 films selected to these shortlists can be viewed online in their entirety.

Below are the films that made the Academy’s cut, prioritized by the films that made ours, as well as links to several other films streaming in full. Check them out now, some of these are online for a limited time only!

 

Live Action

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Drama Meryam Joobeur

Ikhwène (Brotherhood)

One of the most acclaimed shorts of the year, and a frontrunner for Oscar. Mohamed is a shepherd in rural Tunisia with his wife and two young sons. Their world is shaken when their oldest son returns after a long journey with a mysterious woman he says is his wife.

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Drama Asher Jelinsky

Miller & Son

WINNER OF A 2019 STUDENT ACADEMY AWARD: A transwoman mechanic lives between running her family’s auto shop during the day and expressing her femininity at night, until an unforeseen event threatens the balance of her compartmentalized life.

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Comedy Yves Piat

Nefta Football Club

In the south of Tunisia, two football fan brothers bump into a donkey lost in the middle of the desert on the border of Algeria. Strangely, the animal wears headphones over its ears.

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Drama Rémi Allier

Les Petites Mains (Little Hands)

**CURRENTLY OFFLINE** (playing Trailer) - Upon discovering that management is closing down the factory, a desperate employee kidnaps the toddler of the director in order to negotiate.

A strong showing in the Live Action category for some of our favorite films of the year. This is the category where we find the Academy’s choices to be most frequently vexing, but it is hard to complain about what is a mostly stellar lineup this time out. Other films to make the cut:

The Neighbor’s WindowStreaming on Vimeo!
Cadoul de Craciun (The Christmas Gift)Trailer
Une Soeur (A Sister)
Saria
Refugee

 

Animation

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Drama Siqi Song

妹妹 (Sister)

CURRENTLY OFFLINE FOR OSCARS - Acclaimed at festivals around the world, Siqi Song's personal and intimate felted stop-motion animation is a top Oscar contender. A man remembers his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in 1990s China. How would his life have been if things had gone differently?

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Drama Rosana Sullivan

Kitbull

An unlikely connection sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time.

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Comedy Leo Brunel & 3 Others

Hors Piste

The two best rescue workers of the region are ready for their new mission. Despite their professionalism and their determination, it will not go as planned…

This year lacks big studio productions distorting the category, so hopefully that leaves a bit more oxygen for everyone else (though Hair Love was supported by Sony Animation and Kitbull was produced through Pixar’s SparkShorts incubator). Still, with several previous nominees back with new films and category mainstay The NFB landing two spots, expect things to be as tight and inscrutable as ever.

Traditionally this has been the strongest category for free streaming releases but only 5 out of the 10 are available at the time of publishing. Check back soon, as I expect that number might rise in the next couple of weeks. 

Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days – Streaming on YouTube
Dcera (Daughter) – Trailer 
He Can’t Live without Cosmos – Trailer 
Mémorable – Trailer
The Physics of Sorrow – Trailer 
Mind My Mind – Trailer

 

Documentary

Documentary is often the most straightforward category to predict due to the investment of big media companies in the space. That has, in the past few years, made it the friendliest to streamers and this year is no exception—9 of the 10 films are streaming in some capacity, and 4 of the 10 are available without a subscription (just be mindful of that NyTimes paywall!).

Still, none made it on to Short of the Week <sigh>.  Documentaries have been the overwhelming focus of Netflix’s very minor forays into shorts and it pays off with a staggering 4 of the 10 films here being part of the streaming giant’s catalog, helping make up for the absence of frequent player, HBO. 

In the Absence – Streaming on Vimeo via Field of Vision
The NightcrawlersStreaming on YouTube via NatGeo
Stay CloseStreaming at The NyTimes 
Walk Run Cha-ChaStreaming at The NyTimes
After Maria – Streaming on Netflix (sub required)
Fire in Paradise – Streaming on Netflix (sub required)
Ghosts of Sugar Land – Streaming on Netflix (sub required)
Life Overtakes MeStreaming on Netflix (sub required)
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)Streaming on AETV (sub required) 
St. Louis Superman – Trailer