For the 2017 Oscar season, the Museum presents Oscar-nominated short films for all three short-subject categories: animation, live action, and documentary. MFAH Films hosts Houston’s only screenings of the Oscar nominees for documentary short subject! 

Watch and choose your favorites before the winners are announced at the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26. The schedule for Documentary Short Subject is below. A brief intermission separates parts I and II.

Read about the nominees in IndieWire here.

Download an Oscar ballot before you see the films!

Part I: 72 min.

Joe’s Violin
(Directed by Kahane Cooperman, USA, 2016, 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.

(Directed by Dan Krauss, USA, 2016, 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.

4.1 Miles
(Directed by Daphne Matziaraki, USA, 2016, 22 min., in Greek, English, Arabc, and Dari with English subtitles)
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.

10-minute intermission

Part II: 81 min.

Watani: My Homeland
(Directed by Marcel Mettelsiefen, UK, 2016, 39 min., in Arabic and English with English subtitles)
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.

The White Helmets
(Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, UK, 2016, 41 min., in Arabic and English with English subtitles)
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.

Read about the Syrian subjects of the film attending the Oscars here.

Various directors
Various languages
Various countries
Running Time
153 minutes
Digital, Color