Oscar Shorts 2016 Lack Diversity, But A Different Kind

Oscar Shorts 2016 offer up the nominees for best short films of the year. These are films that are a maximum of a half an hour in length, and there are separate categories for animated and live-action short films. The Seattle Times reports the nominees for animated and live-action Oscar Shorts 2016. Animated shorts include Sanjay’s Super Team, World of Tomorrow, Bear Story, We Can’t Live Without Cosmos, and Prologue. Live-action nominees include Ave Maria, Shok, Everything Will Be Okay, Stutterer, and Day One.

Carter Pilcher, ShortsHD CEO, told Deadline that shorts are like movies on steroids.

“Short film is like film on steroids. For talent, short film vastly expands opportunities, provides an incredible forum for experimentation and creates a pathway for further success. For viewers, short film offers an abundance of dynamic stories, which are told in ways that they cannot be or are not being told in feature film, including films that may be uniquely relevant to their cultures.”

It would appear that Oscar Shorts 2016 follow this description just fine. Pilcher also said the short film genre is picking up steam.

“As the short film genre continues to pick up in popularity and competitiveness, with it comes an increase in the quality of production and diversity of voices.”

Deadline also reports that the Oscar Shorts 2016 have been compiled in a trailer that was released in theaters on January 29.

If there are office Oscar pools, the Oscar Shorts 2016 trailer will help with the betting. The shorts at the Academy Awards have been a fundamental part of the awards show since 1931-32, just five years after the Academy Awards began.

Despite their obvious place in the Academy Awards, the Huffington Post reports that the Oscar Shorts 2016 show a lack of diversity, but not the same sort of diversity plaguing the Oscars as a whole this year. While the Oscar Shorts 2016 come from around the world and offer different ethnicities, skin colors, and geographic locations, they are far too similar in terms of style. In addition, the animated shorts seem to be lacking in the humor they usually exhibit.

This lack of humor was not missed by others in the industry. The New York Times reports that the contenders for Oscar Shorts 2016 are “heavy.” Stephen Holden, writing for the Times, says there is barely any levity in the films.

“Despite the paucity of humor, there is just enough levity in the three-part program of films competing for Academy Awards in the live-action, animation and documentary categories to prevent viewers from succumbing to despair. The heavy stuff is especially concentrated in documentary shorts made for HBO that deal with the Ebola virus, a Pakistani honor killing and the Holocaust. All together, the 15 shorts, being shown in theaters beginning on Friday, demonstrate a level of quality and technical ingenuity comparable to that of the Oscar-nominated feature-length films.”

When it comes to the live-action Oscar Shorts 2016, Ave Maria might be the most humorous. The film shows a family of Israeli settlers that tends to quarrel and whose car breaks down on the West Bank, directly outside a convent. Shok is probably at the other end of the spectrum, offering up a view of the forced exile of a Kosovan family from the point of view of two young boys.

Shok Trailer from Jamie Donoughue on Vimeo.

When it comes to the animated Oscar Shorts 2016, there are the minimalist entries, such as World of Tomorrow and Bear Story.

Sanjay’s Super Team is also intriguing, with an Indian-American boy’s father’s prayer rituals are woven into his superhero and cartoon fantasies.

Trailer BEAR STORY / HISTORIA DE UN OSO from Punkrobot Studio on Vimeo.

Those eager to find out the winners will have to tune into the Academy Awards on February 28.

[Photo by karenfoleyphotography/Shutterstock]