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Virtual Cinema | 2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animation “Global Scope” March 26, 2021


See the overview about all three categories of this year’s Oscar nominees for the best short films: Animation, Documentary, and Live Action. Virtual Cinema streams these Oscar-worthy works from April 2 to May 2. Find out if your favorites win when the Academy Awards ceremony takes place April 25.

The Animation nominees are the work of filmmakers from all over the world, and the total running time is 94 minutes.

Burrow (USA) is about a young rabbit’s journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing. Rather than reveal her imperfections to her neighbors, she digs herself deeper into trouble. After hitting (bed)rock bottom, she learns that there is no shame in asking for help.

Genius Loci (France) takes place one night while Reine, a young loner, sees within the urban chaos a mystical oneness that seems alive, like some sort of guide.

If Anything Happens I Love You (USA) is uniquely American. In the aftermath of a school shooting, two grieving parents take an emotional journey that reveals the resilience of the human spirit.

Opera (USA/South Korea) is designed as an 8K-resolution, single-channel animation—suitable for projection on a large-scale structure. Erick Oh’s ambitious film consists of a day-and-night cycle that can be played on a loop and examines racism, terrorism, religion, war, and class struggle in society.

Yes-People (Iceland) is inspired by how intonation and expression affect the meaning of words. In addition to dictionaries, the filmmaker explains, “we have another layer of language. You can say the same word but if you change the intonation it can have the opposite meaning.”

The Animation program also includes three titles culled from the shortlist of animated nominees: The Snail and the Whale (UK/Germany); Kapaemahu (USA); and To: Gerard (USA).

“Oscar-Nominated Short Films” / WATCH HERE from April 2 to May 2. Your tickets ($12 each or $30 for the bundle) support the MFAH. The Oscars are presented on April 25.


Underwriting for the Film Department is provided by Tenaris and the Vaughn Foundation. Generous funding is provided by Nina and Michael Zilkha; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Lois Chiles Foundation; ILEX Foundation; L’Alliance Française de Houston; and The Foundation for Independent Media Arts.