Virtual Cinema | 2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Documentary “Historical Journeys” March 25, 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 Documentary nominees usually examine serious topics, and this selection is no exception. A common theme is the journey, whether psychological or physical. Total running time: 118 minutes. Not rated (but R equivalent).

Colette (USA) features a 92-year-old woman recounting her family’s active participation in the French Resistance during WWII. When her brother was killed in a German concentration camp, she vowed never to travel to that country. But a 17-year-old student convinces Colette to honor her brother by visiting the camp where he died.

A Concerto Is a Conversation (USA) focuses on Kris Bowers, a virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer who tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather. Produced by Hollywood powerhouse Ava DuVernay, the story spans Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Do Not Split (USA/Norway) The 2019 protests in Hong Kong provide the setting for this film that unfolds over a year, capturing the determination and sacrifices of the protesters; the government’s backlash; and the response to the new national security law.

Hunger Ward (USA) takes an unflinching look at hunger’s toll on the children of war-torn Yemen. Two women who are health-care workers fight to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war.

A Love Song for Latasha (USA) addresses the 1992 shooting of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins at a South Central L.A. store, a flashpoint for the city’s civil unrest. The experimental documentary brings her to life, and in the words of director Sophia Nahli Allison, the film is “for every Black girl who has ever been erased, silenced, or discredited.”

“Oscar-Nominated Short Films” / WATCH 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.