To prepare for the 91st Academy Awards, The Luna Theater is the place to begin this weekend for all your Oscar-Nominated Short Film predictions.
"It's almost like a little snapshot of 2018," said Kaitlyn Crockett, general manager for The Luna Theater. "I think these films, as a whole, have been really great at showing what's been important to us last year."
The theater will be showing all the nominees for the 2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films.
"On Saturday, we are screening all the programs back to back, so in a way, if someone wanted to be able to watch all the films all day and make it a little festival situation that would be the day," said Crockett.
The nominees for Best Animated Short will be shown Saturday, Tuesday and next Saturday. Best Documentary will be Friday, Saturday and next Saturday. Best Live Action will be Saturday and next Friday, Saturday and Tuesday, Feb. 26.
The films for the Live Action and Documentary categories are rated R and suitable for age 17 and older. The Animated Shorts are suitable for children ages 8 and older, but there are heavier themes within the shorts, including Alzheimer's disease, divorce and the death of a parent.
Crockett said she loves animation, and her personal favorite animated short is "Bao," by Domee Shi. It is about an aging Chinese-Canadian mother who is making baozi dumplings, one of which comes alive.
Another nominated animated short, "One Small Step," by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, is about the journey a young girl takes to achieve her goal of becoming an astronaut and going to outer space.
"I think each film on its own is really great, but when you put them together, there's something really wonderful about it," said Crockett.
The documentary and live-action nominated films, in particular, deal with a lot of heavy themes.
One of the live action nominees, "Detainment," by Vincent Lambe, is about the detainment of children, and the documentary nominee "Period. End of Sentence." is about women in a rural village in India dealing with the perceived stigma of menstruation.
"The majority of the films aren't United States-based, especially the documentaries," said Crockett. "They're from all over the world ... and it's just a really nice way to view how everybody tells stories, not just filmmakers in the U.S. but how people throughout the world create."
If you're hoping to get a good idea of which films to put in your Oscar pool, Crockett said that might be a bit more difficult this year. Since a lot of the shorts are personal and specific to the creators' lives, she thinks people are going to be drawn to particular stories that touch them personally.
"We're going to have little ballots for people to fill out when we get closer to the Grammys on the 24th, so I'm interested to see what people will chose and what people are interested in," she said. "Some of them deal with Alzheimer's. One of the live-action shorts called, 'Skin,' is about a young boy caught up in this race war. There's so much to unpack here that I think this year's going to be difficult to choose a winner.
"I do not envy the Academy at all," she added with a laugh.
Those who might not be used to seeing short films might feel jolted by the shift between stories.
"In a way, it's a little bit like a roller coaster where it can be scary to go from film to film to film and story to story to story, but when you let the story, as a whole, be a journey, instead of films as individuals, I think it can make for a thrilling experience," said Crockett.
For show times, to pre-order tickets and more information, visit lunalowell.com.
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Nominated for Best Animated Short:
2/16, 2/19, 2/23
"Animal Behaviour," Alison Snowden, David Fine
"Bao," Domee Shi
"Late Afternoon," Louise Bagnall
"One Small Step," Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
"Weekends," Trevor Jimenez
Nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject:
2/15, 2/16, 2/23
"Black Sheep," Ed Perkins
"End Game," Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
"Lifeboat," Skye Fitzgerald
"A Night at the Garden," Marshall Curry
"Period. End of Sentence.," Rayka Zehtabchi
Nominated for Best Live Action Short Film:
2/16, 2/22, 2/23, 2/26
"Detainment," Vincent Lambe
"Fauve," Jeremy Comte
"Marguerite," Marianne Farley
"Mother," Rodrigo Sorogoyen
"Skin," Guy Nattiv