The 2017 Academy Award nominated Short Films 

See the trailers and read the synopses below. Once again this is a most fascinating line-up.

ANIMATED

From a broken down fighter, to a girl with double vision to understanding gifts we pass on, the animated films are eclectic as ususal. 

LIVE ACTION

This is the most diverse category with films from Hungary, Denmark. Spain, France and Switzerland. Don't miss them.

DOCUMENTARY

Syria, its refugees and hero "White Helmets" feature in 3 of the 5 documentaries. But there's also the gift of a Holocaut survivor's violin to a young student. Life, as it happens.

 

ANIMATED SHORTS

Blind Vaysha – dir. Theodore Ushev, Canada  8 min.

Vaysha is not like other young girls; she was born with one green eye and one brown eye. But her odd eyes aren’t the only thing that’s special about her gaze. Her left eye sees only the past. Her right, only the future. Like a terrible curse, Vaysha’s split vision prevents her from living in the present. Blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she remains trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities.

Piper – dir. Alan Barillaro, USA 6 min.

Directed by Alan Barillaro and produced by Marc Sondheimer, PIPER, the new short from Pixar Animation Studios, tells the story of a hungry sandpiper hatchling who ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The only problem is, the food is buried beneath the sand where scary waves roll up onto the shore.

Pearl – dir. Patrick Osborne, USA  6 min

Set inside their home, a beloved hatchback, PEARL follows a girl and her dad as they crisscross the country chasing their dreams. It’s a story about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love, and finding grace in the unlikeliest of places.

Borrowed Time – dirs. Andrew Coats and

Lou Hamou-Lhadj, USA  7 min

A weathered sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.

Pear Brandy and Cigarettes – dir. Robert Valley, Canada and UK  35 min

Drink and smoke...that's what Techno Stypes really liked to do. And fight. He was in no condition to fight. He was sick, really sick. His disease had whittled him down to a shadow of his former self. He was crippled from a car accident when he was 17 but that’s not how he lost his big toe. He lost that in a motorbike accident. Yeah, he was broken alright… what the hell was he fighting for anyway and what was he still doing in China? His father had given me two clear instructions: 1. Get Techno to stop drinking long enough to receive the liver transplant, and 2. Get him back home to Vancouver. This was not going to be easy.

LIVE ACTION SHORTS

La Femme et la TGV – dir. Timo von Gunten, Switzerland  30 min

Elise Lafontaine has a secret routine. Every morning and evening for many years, she has been waving at the express train that passes her house. One fateful day, she finds a letter from the train conductor in her garden and her lonely life is turned upside down. She engages in a promising correspondence through poetic and thoughtful letters – two anonymous writers sharing their world with each other… until the day the train line gets cancelled. The story is inspired by true events and stars César Award nominee Jane Birkin.

Timecode – dir. Juanjo Gimenez Pena, Spain

15 min

Luna and Diego are the parking lot security guards. Diego does the night shift, and Luna works by day.

Silent Nights – dir. Aske Bang, Denmark  30 min

Inger volunteers at a homeless shelter and falls in love with the illegal immigrant Kwame. Both live a hard life. Kwame finds comfort in Inger's arms, but says nothing about his family and children in Ghana. When his daughter becomes ill, he is forced to steal money from the homeless shelter to pay the hospital bill. Inger believe his lie about the theft, and when Kwame moves in with Inger they are happy for a while… until the day when Kwame’s mobile phone reveals everything about his life in Ghana.

Sing – dir. Kristof Deak, Hungary  25 min

Zsofi is struggling to fit in at her new school - singing in the school’s famous choir is her only consolation, but the choir director may not be the inspirational teacher everyone thinks she is. It will take Zsofi and her new friend Liza to uncover the cruel truth.

Ennemis Interieurs – dir. Selim Aazzazi, France

28 min

An interview at a local police station turns into an inquisition during which a French-Algerian born man sees himself accused of protecting the identities of possible terrorists. This close-up on France's troubled history with its former colonies has one man controlling the fate of another with the stroke of a pen during a turbulent period in the 1990s.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

4.1 Miles – dir. Daphne Matziaraki, USA   22 min

Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard, is caught in the struggle of refugees fleeing the Middle East and traveling the short distance from the coast of Turkey to the island of Lesbos. Despite having limited resources, the captain and his crew attempt to save lives during the immense humanitarian crisis.

The White Helmets – dir. Orlando von Einsiedel,

41 min

In the chaos of war-torn Syria, unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers known as "the white helmets" comb through the rubble after bombings to rescue survivors. Although they have already saved more than 60,000 lives since 2013, these brave first responders continue to place themselves in danger every day.

Joe’s Violin – dir. Kahane Cooperman, USA 

24 min

During a drive to donate musical instruments to public schools, 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold offers his beloved violin, which he has played for more than 70 years. The instrument goes to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, where young musician Brianna Perez is inspired to become friends with her benefactor.

Watani: My Homeland – dir. Marcel Mettelsiefen,

39 min

Four young children live with their mother and father, a Free Syrian Commander, in a warzone in Aleppo, Syria. After their father is captured by ISIS, the children flee with their mother to Goslar, Germany, in a years-long journey that will test them all as they try to find a safe home in a foreign country.

Extremis – dir. Dan Krauss, USA   24 min

At the Intensive Care Unit at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, palliative care specialist Dr. Jessica Zitter treats terminally ill patients. As she and her team provide the best possible care, they try to help the patients and their loved ones make critical, often heartbreaking decisions.

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