The 82nd Academy Awards held in 2010 presented a captivating collection of Short Film nominees that demonstrated the power of storytelling in its most concise form. From heartwarming animations to gripping live-action dramas and eye-opening documentaries, these Oscar-nominated short films celebrated the best and brightest of emerging talents in the film industry.
Each film presented a unique perspective on the world, showcasing a level of creativity, technical expertise, and storytelling ability that is rarely found in mainstream cinema. In this article, we will explore the Best Short Film nominees of the 82nd Academy Awards and examine what made each of them stand out in their respective categories.
These must-see films prove that even with a limited runtime, short films can create a lasting impact on audiences and the film industry as a whole. Get ready to be amazed and inspired by the creativity and talent of some of the most promising filmmakers in the world.
Animated Short Films
Logorama is a 16-minute animated short film directed by Nicolas Schmerkin that was released in 2009. The film is a satirical take on the corporate world and features logos of various brands as the main characters.
This incredibly well-executed story is set in a city where everything, from buildings to people, is made up of logos. The plot revolves around two police officers who are in pursuit of a criminal who is on the loose. The criminal, who is also made up of a logo, has kidnapped a woman who is also a logo. The chase takes the police officers through various brand-name establishments, including a gas station, a hotel, and a fast-food restaurant.
The animation style of the film is unique and engaging. It uses a combination of 3D animation and motion graphics to create a world that is entirely made up of logos. The use of logos as characters is not only visually striking but also contributes to the storytelling. The film is a commentary on the dominance of corporations in modern society, and the use of logos as characters is a clever way to drive home this message.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when the police officers enter a fast-food restaurant, and all the customers are logos of various fast-food chains. The scene is a commentary on the homogenization of food culture and the power of corporate branding.
Overall, Logorama is an entertaining and thought-provoking film that is worth watching. It is suitable for audiences who appreciate satire and social commentary. The animation style is visually engaging, and the use of logos as characters is a clever way to tell the story. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys animated shorts with a message.
French Roast is a delightful animated short film directed by Fabrice Joubert. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2009 and it’s easy to see why. The film is a clever and charming tale about a businessman who finds himself in a bit of a sticky situation.
The story begins with a businessman entering a French café to enjoy a cup of coffee. He realizes that he has forgotten his wallet and can’t pay for his coffee. The businessman becomes increasingly anxious as he tries to figure out how to pay for his coffee without anyone noticing his mistake. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to a cast of quirky characters, including a homeless man, a snooty old lady, and a suspicious waiter.
The animation style of French Roast is nothing short of stunning. The film is beautifully crafted with intricate details and rich colors that bring the story to life. The animation style is very fluid and smooth, which makes the characters and settings feel alive and dynamic.
One of the standout scenes in the film is when the businessman tries to discreetly check his pockets for his wallet. The camera zooms in on the businessman’s hand as he frantically searches his pockets, creating a sense of tension and urgency. The scene is both humorous and relatable, as we’ve all had moments where we’ve forgotten something important.
Overall, French Roast is a charming and entertaining film that is sure to delight audiences of all ages. The film’s clever storytelling and beautiful animation make it a must-see for anyone who appreciates great animation. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys animated shorts or clever storytelling.
This film is suitable for all audiences and would be particularly enjoyable for those who appreciate French culture or quirky characters. Whether you’re looking for a fun family film or a clever short to watch with friends, French Roast is sure to deliver.
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty is a 6-minute animated short film directed by Darragh O’Connell and Nicky Phelan and released in 2009. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and tells the story of Granny O’Grimm, an elderly woman who tells her version of Sleeping Beauty to her terrified granddaughter.
The animation style of the film is unique and adds to the storytelling. The characters are 2D, but the backgrounds are 3D, creating a sense of depth and realism. The colors are muted, with a dark color palette, which adds to the ominous and scary tone of the film.
The main character, Granny O’Grimm, is a feisty and bitter old woman who tells her granddaughter a twisted version of Sleeping Beauty. She portrays herself as the hero of the story, warning her granddaughter about the dangers of men and love. As the story progresses, Granny becomes more and more agitated, and her voice becomes louder and more intense.
One of the standout scenes in the film is when Granny tells her granddaughter about the wicked fairy who curses Sleeping Beauty. The animation style changes to a black-and-white sketch, and the fairy is portrayed as a terrifying, shadowy figure. Another memorable moment is when Granny’s face transforms into a monster-like appearance as she warns her granddaughter about the dangers of men.
Overall, Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty is a dark and twisted take on a classic fairy tale. The animation style and Granny’s intense personality contribute to the storytelling and create a unique viewing experience. While the film may not be suitable for young children, adults and fans of dark humor may enjoy it. I highly recommend giving it a watch.
The Lady and the Reaper
The Lady and the Reaper is a delightful and quirky animated short film directed by Javier Recio Gracia. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 and it’s easy to see why.
The Lady and the Reaper follows an elderly woman who is ready to pass away and join her late husband. But Death is in no hurry to take her and instead, a battle ensues between Death and a young, handsome doctor who is determined to save the woman’s life. The story is both heartwarming and comical, with a touch of dark humor that keeps the audience engaged.
The animation style is a perfect fit for the story, with exaggerated characters and bold colors that add to the whimsical nature of the film. The film also cleverly uses different animation techniques to differentiate between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
One of the standout scenes is when the doctor and Death engage in a thrilling chase through the hospital. The scene is fast-paced and full of action but also manages to inject some humor into the situation. Another memorable moment is when Death’s scythe is caught in the hospital’s revolving door, leading to a hilarious struggle between the two characters.
Overall, The Lady and the Reaper is a charming and entertaining film that will appeal to a wide audience. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a lighthearted and whimsical story with a touch of dark humor. The film’s animation style is a standout feature and adds to the overall enjoyment of the film.
I highly recommend The Lady and the Reaper to anyone looking for a fun and engaging short film. It’s a great example of how animation can be used to tell a unique and entertaining story.
A Matter of Loaf and Death
A Matter of Loaf and Death is a stop-motion animated short film directed by Nick Park, released in 2009. The film follows the story of Wallace and Gromit, a beloved duo who own a bakery called Top Bun. Wallace falls in love with a customer named Piella Bakewell, but Gromit suspects that something is not right with her. As Wallace and Piella start dating, Gromit tries to uncover the truth about her past and protect Wallace from danger.
The animation style in A Matter of Loaf and Death is charming and captivating. The characters are made of clay and move in a jerky, yet smooth manner. The attention to detail in each frame is impressive, and the facial expressions of the characters convey a range of emotions. The animation style adds to the film’s comedic elements and makes the characters more relatable and endearing.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Gromit is trying to warn Wallace about Piella’s true nature, and he uses a series of pictures to communicate his message. The scene is hilarious and showcases the cleverness and creativity of the filmmakers. Another standout moment is when Wallace and Piella are dancing in the moonlight, and Gromit is spying on them. The scene is beautifully animated and highlights the romantic subplot of the film.
Overall, A Matter of Loaf and Death is an entertaining and delightful short film that will appeal to both children and adults. The film’s humor, animation style, and engaging storyline make it a must-watch for fans of Wallace and Gromit and stop-motion animation in general. I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a light-hearted and enjoyable viewing experience.
Live Action Short Films
The New Tenants
The New Tenants is a 2009 film that follows the lives of two new tenants who move into an apartment, only to find that they have inherited a series of strange and unsettling problems. The film is directed by Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson and is a gripping portrayal of the complexities of urban living.
The two main characters, Peter and Frank, are played by Vincent D’Onofrio and Kevin Corrigan respectively. They quickly realize that their new home is far from perfect, with a series of oddball neighbors, a drug-addicted landlord, and a mysterious package that arrives on their doorstep.
The film’s style and cinematography contribute significantly to the storytelling. The camera work is intimate and immersive, capturing the characters’ emotions and struggles in a way that draws the viewer in. The use of close-ups and handheld camera work creates a sense of immediacy and urgency that keeps the audience engaged throughout.
One of the standout scenes in the film is when Peter and Frank discover the contents of the mysterious package. The tension in the scene is palpable, and the filmmakers do an excellent job of building suspense and keeping the audience guessing.
Overall, The New Tenants is a compelling and thought-provoking film that offers a unique perspective on urban life. The film’s engaging characters, gripping storyline, and impressive cinematography make it a must-see for anyone interested in captivating filmmaking.
I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys character-driven films and is interested in exploring the complexities of urban living. While the subject matter may not be for everyone, I believe that the film’s nuanced portrayal of its characters and their struggles will resonate with a wide range of viewers.
The Door is a 2009 film directed by Juanita Wilson and James Flynn. It tells the story of a man named Nikolai, who lives in the contaminated city of Chernobyl, Ukraine. Nikolai is one of the few remaining residents of the city, which was abandoned after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. The film follows Nikolai as he goes about his daily life, tending to his animals and maintaining his home, all while living in a contaminated and dangerous environment.
The Door is a visually stunning film that effectively uses cinematography to tell its powerful story. The filmmakers use a combination of wide shots and close-ups to give viewers a sense of the vastness of the abandoned city and the isolation of its remaining residents. They also make use of slow-motion and time-lapse photography to show the slow decay of the city and the passage of time.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when Nikolai takes the filmmakers on a tour of the abandoned city. As they walk through the empty streets and buildings, it becomes clear just how devastating the disaster was and how it affected the lives of those who lived there. Another standout moment is when Nikolai talks about the loss of his family and his struggle to continue living in the contaminated city.
Overall, The Door is a haunting and beautifully shot film that offers a unique perspective on the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. It is a film that will stay with you long after viewing it. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the Chernobyl disaster. However, due to its heavy subject matter, it may not be suitable for all audiences.
Instead of Abracadabra
Instead of Abracadabra is a 2009 Swedish film directed by Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström. The film follows the story of a man named Thomas, a struggling magician who dreams of becoming a professional magician. However, Thomas’ magic tricks are not very impressive, and he often fails to impress his audience. Despite his lack of success, Thomas refuses to give up on his dream and continues to practice his craft.
The film’s style and cinematography play a significant role in telling Thomas’ story. The filmmakers use a combination of handheld camera shots and static shots to create a sense of intimacy and realism. The use of close-ups of Thomas’ face and hands during his performances allows the audience to experience the magic tricks from his perspective.
One of the standout scenes in the film is when Thomas performs his signature trick, the “disappearing act.” The filmmakers use a slow-motion shot of Thomas’ hands to show the intricate movements he makes to perform the trick. The use of slow-motion adds to the suspense and anticipation of the trick’s outcome.
Another memorable moment in the film is when Thomas performs at a children’s birthday party. The contrast between Thomas’ struggling career and the children’s joy and excitement highlights the challenges Thomas faces as a magician.
Overall, Instead of Abracadabra is a touching and inspiring film that showcases the power of perseverance and determination. The film’s unique subject matter and intimate style make it a must-see for lovers of absorbing cinematic experiences. While the film may not be for everyone, it will certainly appeal to those who appreciate heartfelt stories and underdog tales. I highly recommend this film to anyone looking for a heartwarming and inspiring film.
Kavi is a 2009 film directed by Gregg Helvey that tells the story of a young Indian boy named Kavi who is forced to work in a brick kiln to pay off his family’s debt. The film explores the issue of child labor in India and the hardships that these children face on a daily basis.
The main character, Kavi, is played by Sagar Salunke, who delivers a powerful performance as a young boy who dreams of going to school and living a normal life. The film also features impressive performances by other actors, including the brick kiln owner and Kavi’s mother.
The visual style of the film is raw and gritty, which perfectly captures the harsh reality of Kavi’s life. The use of handheld cameras and natural lighting creates a sense of authenticity and intimacy that draws the viewer into the story.
The film’s style and cinematography contribute to the storytelling by immersing the viewer in Kavi’s world and allowing them to experience his struggles firsthand. The use of close-ups and tight framing also helps to convey the emotions of the characters and creates a sense of tension and urgency.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Kavi attempts to escape from the brick kiln with the help of a social worker. The tension is palpable as Kavi and the social worker try to evade the brick kiln owner and make their way to safety.
Overall, Kavi is a powerful and thought-provoking film that sheds light on an important social issue. I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in social justice and human rights. However, due to the film’s heavy subject matter, it may not be suitable for younger viewers or those who are sensitive to depictions of child abuse and exploitation.
Miracle Fish is a gripping and heart-wrenching film directed by Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey that follows the life of Paskal, a young boy living in poverty in Indonesia. The film explores the harsh realities of life in Jakarta, where many people struggle to make ends meet and children are often forced to grow up too soon.
The film is shot in a raw and unfiltered style, with handheld cameras capturing the daily struggles of Paskal and his family. The filmmakers use a mix of intimate close-ups and wide shots to give the audience a sense of the environment and the challenges faced by the characters.
The film’s style and cinematography are key to its storytelling. The use of natural lighting and the absence of music allows the audience to focus on the characters and their experiences. The filmmakers also use a variety of camera angles and shots to create a sense of urgency and tension, particularly in the film’s more dramatic moments.
One scene that stood out to me was when Paskal was sent to the hospital after a severe burn. The camera follows him as he is rushed through the streets on a motorbike, and the urgency of the situation is palpable. The scene is a powerful example of how the filmmakers use their visual style to create an emotional impact.
Overall, Miracle Fish is a powerful and moving film that sheds light on the harsh realities of life in Indonesia. It is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in thought-provoking filmmaking or social justice issues. While the film does deal with some difficult subject matter, it is ultimately a story of hope and resilience that will resonate with audiences of all ages.
Documentary Short Films
Music by Prudence
Music by Prudence, a 2009 documentary directed by Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett, tells the story of Prudence Mabhena, a Zimbabwean woman with a physical disability who rises above her circumstances to become a celebrated musician. The film chronicles Prudence’s life, from her difficult childhood in Zimbabwe to her rise to fame with her band, Liyana.
The film’s style and cinematography contribute significantly to its storytelling. The filmmakers use a mix of interviews, archival footage, and footage of Prudence and her band performing to tell Prudence’s story. The film’s cinematography is beautiful, capturing the vibrant colors and energy of Zimbabwe. The filmmakers use slow-motion shots to great effect, emphasizing the emotional impact of certain scenes.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Prudence and her band perform at the World Music Festival in Norway. The scene is shot beautifully, with the filmmakers capturing the excitement and energy of the performance. The scene is particularly moving because it shows Prudence’s journey from a small village in Zimbabwe to performing on a global stage.
Another standout scene is when Prudence speaks about her disability and how it has affected her life. The scene is shot in a simple, intimate way, with Prudence speaking directly to the camera. The filmmakers use close-ups to emphasize Prudence’s emotions, and the result is a powerful and moving scene.
Overall, Music by Prudence is a powerful and inspiring film that is sure to resonate with audiences. The film’s message of resilience and determination is universal, and Prudence’s story is a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries. I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in music, disability rights, or human resilience.
China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province is a heart-wrenching documentary directed by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill. The film sheds light on the devastating earthquake that struck Sichuan Province, China, on May 12, 2008, which claimed the lives of over 70,000 people, including thousands of school children.
The documentary follows the stories of several families who lost their children in the earthquake and the ensuing government cover-up. It also delves into the corrupt construction practices that led to the collapse of so many schools during the earthquake.
The film’s style and cinematography are simple yet effective, allowing the stories of the families to take center stage. The filmmakers use a mix of interviews and footage shot on the ground to provide a raw and emotional portrayal of the tragedy.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when a father breaks down in tears as he talks about his daughter who was killed in the earthquake. He shows the audience a picture of her and tells them about her dreams of becoming a teacher. The scene is incredibly moving and highlights the human toll of the disaster.
Another standout moment is when the filmmakers confront a government official about the cover-up. The official denies any wrongdoing and tries to deflect blame onto the families. The scene is frustrating to watch but is an important reminder of the lengths some people will go to protect their own interests.
Overall, China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province is a powerful and important documentary that shines a light on a tragedy that many people may not be aware of. The film is recommended for anyone interested in social justice issues and the power of documentary filmmaking to bring attention to important issues.
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner is a thought-provoking documentary that explores the issue of assisted suicide and its legal implications. Directed by Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher, the film follows the former governor of Washington State, Booth Gardner, as he campaigns for the passage of a law that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of a physician.
The film’s visual style is clean and straightforward, with a focus on interviews and archival footage. This approach allows the filmmakers to present a nuanced and balanced view of the controversial topic at the center of the film. The interviews with Gardner and his supporters are especially powerful, as they provide personal stories and insights into the issue of assisted suicide.
One of the most striking aspects of the film is the way in which it captures the emotional toll of the campaign on Gardner and his family. The scenes of Gardner struggling with his own health issues while fighting for the passage of the law are poignant and affecting. These moments add a human dimension to the film that makes it all the more compelling.
Overall, The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in the intersection of politics and healthcare. The film’s style and cinematography contribute to the storytelling by presenting a clear and engaging narrative that is both informative and emotionally resonant. Some specific scenes that stood out to me include the interviews with Gardner’s family members and the footage of the campaign rallies.
I would highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in the issue of assisted suicide, as well as those who are interested in the political process and how it can be used to effect change. The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner is a powerful and moving documentary that deserves to be seen by a wide audience.
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, is a poignant and compelling documentary that explores the closure of a General Motors plant in Moraine, Ohio in 2008. The film follows the lives of several workers at the plant as they face the uncertainty of losing their jobs and the impact it has on their families and community.
The film’s visual style is raw and intimate, with close-up shots of the workers and their surroundings, providing a sense of the personal toll the closure is taking on them. The filmmakers also use sweeping shots of the plant and its machinery, emphasizing the scale of the operation and the enormity of its closure.
One of the most striking moments in the film is when the workers gather for a final shift before the plant closes, and the filmmakers capture the emotional speeches and farewells that take place. Another powerful scene shows a worker visiting his son’s grave, reflecting on the sacrifices he made to provide for his family.
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant is a moving and thought-provoking film that offers a window into the lives of those affected by the closure of the plant. The filmmakers skillfully capture the personal and societal impact of the closure, and the film is a testament to the resilience and strength of the workers and their community.
Overall, I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in the human impact of economic change and the struggles faced by working-class Americans. The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant is a must-see for anyone looking for a powerful and emotional documentary that will leave a lasting impact.
Rabbit à la Berlin
Rabbit à la Berlin is a 2009 documentary directed by Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra that provides a unique perspective on the history of the Berlin Wall. The film follows the story of the rabbits that lived in the Death Strip, the heavily guarded area between the two walls that made up the Berlin Wall.
The rabbits served as a symbol of the peaceful coexistence between East and West Berlin before the wall came down. The film explores how the rabbits adapted to life in the Death Strip and how their presence served as a reminder of the division between the two sides of the city.
The filmmakers use a combination of archival footage, interviews with former residents of the area, and shots of the rabbits themselves to tell the story. The visual style of the film is stunning, with beautiful shots of the rabbits in their natural habitat and haunting images of the Death Strip.
One of the most striking scenes in the film is when the rabbits are shown jumping over the wall as it is being dismantled. The filmmakers use this moment to show the hope and joy that came with the fall of the wall, as well as the confusion and uncertainty that followed.
The film’s style and cinematography contribute to the storytelling by providing a unique perspective on the history of the Berlin Wall. By focusing on the rabbits, the filmmakers are able to show how the wall affected not just humans but also the natural world.
Overall, Rabbit à la Berlin is a fascinating and thought-provoking documentary that offers a new perspective on a well-known historical event. I would highly recommend this film to anyone interested in history, politics, or environmental issues. The film’s unique subject matter and stunning visuals make it a must-see for documentary fans.
2010 Oscar Short Film Winners
Live Action – The New Tenants
Animated – Logorama
Documentary – Music by Prudence