Virtual Cinema | 2021 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animation, Documentary & Live Action “Overview” March 27, 2021

It’s that time of the year again, and the winner is ... you! MFAH audiences always look forward to seeing the Oscar nominees for the best short films—a program sure to make you laugh, cry, and think. The presentation is virtual this time, and the powerful impact is the same.

Get the popcorn ready and choose your favorites for the Oscar pool. All three categories—Animation, Documentary, and Live Action—are available to stream from April 2 to May 2. See if your favorites win when the Academy Awards ceremony takes place on April 25.

This category features the animated nominees plus an additional three films from the shortlisted nominees. The USA has three films in the running: Burrow; If Anything Happens I Love You; and Opera, which is a USA/South Korea coproduction. France’s Genius Loci and Iceland’s Yes-People round out the list. The shortlisted Kapaemahu; The Snail and the Whale; and To: Gerard complete the program. (total running time: 94 minutes)
• Focus on Opera | Former Pixar animator Erick Oh defines his Opera as a “contemporary animated edition of Renaissance fresco mural paintings that examines racism, terrorism, religion, war, and class struggle within our society.”

The documentaries explore journeys of the human spirit. All are either made in the USA or are USA coproductions, and the category comprises Colette; A Concerto Is a Conversation; Do Not Split; Hunger Ward; and A Love Song for Latasha. (total running time: 118 minutes)
• Focus on Do Not Split | This harrowing film examines the 2019 Hong Kong protests through a series of demonstrations that escalate into conflict when armed police arrive on the scene.

Live Action
The live-action films are also predominantly from the USA: Feeling Through; The Letter Room; and Two Distant Strangers. Films from Palestine (The Present) and Israel (White Eye) round out the category. (total running time: 125 minutes)
• Focus on Two Distant Strangers | A terrifying time-loop with elements of a modern horror story, this film was inspired by the death of George Floyd.

 “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.