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partying with the short films oscar nominees by rebecca olkowski

The Stutterer

Okay, I am now seriously jealous of Rebecca Olkowski, who usually blogs at Baby Boomster. Not only did she get to attend a cocktail celebrating the gorgeous costumes of Brooklyn last week but on Oscar Eve, she partied with the nominees in the Best Short Films categories. I am never leaving town during Oscar week again!

She said she had a blast, and here’s why:

During Oscar season, there are parties all over town, and Los Angeles is alive with glitz and glamour. I attended the Shorts HD’s party for Oscar-nominated short films at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills the night before the Oscar ceremony and there was no shortage of glitz. It was a gathering to recognize the most under-recognized category in the Oscar show.

Most short films are done for love and rarely make money. As Louis C.K. remarked as he presented the award for Best Documentary Short at the Oscar ceremony, “This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic.”

Aerialists and Zone Bots

Shorts typically tackle harsh issues and make a strong impact on how we view the world. This year, some of the subjects included disposing of bodies stricken by the Ebola virus, Pakistani honor killings of women, the Holocaust, and the wars in Afghanistan and Kosovo. As Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, producer of the Best Documentary Short Subject, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, remarked in her acceptance speech, “This week the Pakistani Prime minister said he will change the law on honor killings after watching this film.”

Winner of Best Live Action Short Film, The Stutterer (top photo, above), is about a shy typographer with a speech impediment who gets up the courage to meet a woman on the Internet.  It was the first film by producers Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage. Cleary said in his acceptance speech, “When you make your first ever film you’ve got to convince a lot of people to jump on board and take a risk with a first time director.” He went on to thank those who believed in him.

Producers of Bear Story

Bear Story, from Chile, won Best Animated Short Film. It’s a whimsical tale without dialogue about an old bear who invites passersby to take a look at the life of a circus bear. The winners, above, were thrilled because it’s the first time Chili has won an Oscar.

The Shorts category was almost taken off the Oscar program several times and at one point Gregory Peck, then an Academy Governor, intervened. He told the other Governors, “It seems to me you’re coming down on the little guys.” Jon Bloom, who was given a Life Time Achievement Award by Shorts HD at the party, was also instrumental in saving the shorts category. He is on the Board of Governors for the Academy’s Short Films and Animation branch.

The beauty of the Short Film category is that it allows new filmmakers the chance to be seen and appreciated in the industry. Many a short film producer has gone on to make full-length features and documentaries. However, it also gives important causes a voice because it’s not about commercialism or making money.

Fortunately, more short films will have a chance to be seen as they’re showing up on online viewing sites. Watch all the Short Film Oscar nominees on Shorts HD’s movie channel.


  1. I haven’t seen that many shorts, but now my interest is piqued. I’m going to have to be on the lookout for some. And then again, maybe I’ll get lucky and be invited to party next year!! Not… lucky Rebecca!

  2. I haven’t seen many short films, to be honest. I usually like them a lot because I don’t have the attention span to watch a lot of longer films.

  3. I never watch short films, but to be invited to attend any sort of “celebrity” event would be fun for sure.

  4. We don’t usually watch short films, but what a fun event to attend! Looks like a great time.

  5. I would love to watch the shorts online. I never get a chance to see them!

  6. Now I want to see these shorts! They sound really interesting. And lucky Rebecca to be partying with the best of them.

  7. Sounds like a great collection of short films to watch!

  8. The only shorts I have seen are Disney related. And for example I Lava You is an amazing short with a great message.

  9. We have an amazing art house theater here which runs all the shorts and documentaries every Oscar Season. It’s one of my favorite things to do, in a real, beautiful old,theater (where they filmed THE BLOB). I’m such a fan of the impact of shorts and documentaries, that I may try and get to LA during Oscar week to see if I can get into one of these great parties. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I really would enjoy watching more short films that tackle real life issues, but I never know where to actually find them. The Stutterer sounds interesting.

  11. Shorts are under-appreciated. We here in Tucson are fortunate to have an Indy Arts Theater that runs an amazing lineup of films that will never be seen in one of the corporate chain theaters, it is called The Loft. I should attend their short showings more often. Thank you for reminding me.

  12. My girls and I enjoyed watching the Oscars this year- even though we hadn’t seen any of the movies!

  13. I’m most familiar with the shorts that run before Pixar and Disney films. Never thought of them having awards but guess that makes sense since many of these folks who make them are up and comers in the film industry. I enjoyed reading this post.

  14. We don’t usually watch short movies, but what a fun event to attend! Looks like it was a great event!

  15. I need to get online and watch some of these shorts as I never get a chance to & some look really good.

  16. What fun, I would also not leave during oscar week if I had the opportunity. Glad to see the short films getting some more publicity

  17. I love Oscar time and all the glam. The short films are a fave for me.

  18. I love the short film category as I always find something I want to see. I wish we got more short films here in our local theater but I guess that is not happening so will have to look for them online.

  19. Tonya C says:

    I actually didn’t watch the Oscars this year. So be honest I never really have watched any of the short films either. You’re making me want to check them out though.

  20. I didn’t get to see the Oscars. I am willing to check out some of the shorts now that I know about them.

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