Park City Films to screen Oscar short film nominees
Oscar-nominated short films Friday, Feb. 22, through Sunday, Feb. 24 Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. Visit parkcityfilm.org for ticket prices
This weekend, Park City Film looks to continue a 14-year tradition by screening the year’s Academy Award-nominated short films over Oscar weekend.
“What’s fun about (short) films is you don’t generally get to see them outside of film festivals,” Park City Film executive director Katharine Wang said. “They are kind of like the hidden treasures of the film world. When you look at the best films of the year, they certainly deserve their times on screen as well. So as a film exhibitor, we takes pleasure in bringing the shorts to our screen on Academy Award weekend.”
Short films are considered in three categories for Academy Awards — the best animated shorts, documentary shorts and live-action shorts.
“We will show a different collection each night, so people can come each night to view the whole collection or pick and choose which night they want to come,” Wang said.
Friday’s screenings will be pulled from the Short Film (Animated) category.
The films, although animated, aren’t necessarily suitable for children and the suggested rating for the evening is PG, according to Wang.
Friday, Feb. 22
“Animal Behaviour,” by Alison Snowden and David Fine. Animals join a therapy session.
“Bao,” by Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb. A Chinese-Canadian woman gets another chance at motherhood when a dumpling comes alive. Shown before screenings of “The Incredibles 2.”
“Late Afternoon,” by Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco. An elderly woman suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and exists between the past and the present.
“One Small Step,” by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas. A Chinese-American girl dreams of becoming an astronaut.
“Weekends,” by Trevor Jimenez. A boy is shuffled between the homes of his divorced parents.
Saturday, Feb. 23
“Black Sheep,” by Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn. A family moves from London after a racially motivated murder, only to discover their new town is run by racists.
“End Game” by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Medical practitioners reexamine outlooks on life and death through their work.
“A Night At the Garden” by Marshall Curry. Archival footage of the violent 1939 German-American Bund Nazi rally that attracted 20,000 people to Madison Square Garden.
“Period. End of Sentence.” By Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton. Women fight the stigma of menstruation in a rural Indian village.
Sunday, Feb. 24
“Detainment,” by Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon. Based on the true story of two Irish 10-year-olds who killed toddler James Bulger in 1993.
“Fauve,” by Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon. Two boys working in a mine begin playing a game that gets out of control.
“Marguerite,” by Marianne Farley and Marie-Hélène Panisset. An aging woman makes peace with her past through friendship with her nurse.
“Madre (Mother),” by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado. A Spanish woman experiences every parent’s nightmare when she answers a phone call from her six-year-old son, who is in France with his father.
“Skin,” by Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman. After a black man smiles at a 10-year-old white boy across a checkout aisle, two gangs start a war.
“They contain themes from Alzheimer’s Disease to the death of a parent, divorce and other matters of the heart,” she said.
Saturday night sees the screening of the Documentary Short Subject category and a pre-film Oscar party. Due to time constraints, only four of the five nominated films will be shown according to Wang.
“It’s a fun night to come out and celebrate the art of cinema, and the watch the documentaries,” Wang said. “The documentaries cover everything from race and identity to end-of-life care and decision making to female empowerment in India.”
The Oscar party will start at 6 p.m. and the screenings will start at 8 p.m.
Tickets for just the screenings are $8 for general admission; $7 for students and senior citizens and $6 for Park City Film members, while tickets for the Oscar party and screening are $50 for general admission and $40 for Park City Film members.
The bundle ticket will include three drinks and snacks.
The party will also feature a silent auction for items like fly fishing trips, a wine tasting experience at Old Towne Cellars and custom animal portraits by local artist Jean Glaser.
“The party raises money for our free community screenings, which includes our free movies during school break and Reel Community Series and Foreign Cinema for Kids,” Wang said.
Sunday night’s screening will feature the nominees in Live Action Short Film.
“The overall theme of the films in this category is the loss of innocence,” Wang said. “These are very topical films for our times. They balance intolerance with acceptance, and they push the bounds of filmmaking and storytelling.”
The Saturday and Sunday screenings are rated R for “violence, language and adult themes.”
“This year’s shorts are certainly much more diverse than what we’ve had in years past,” Wang said. “It’s interesting to see what kind of stories find resonance with audiences, critics and the Academy.”
Short films can be a stepping stone for some filmmakers to later create feature-length films, Wang said.
Wang cited Damien Chazelle’s 2014 Academy Award-winning feature “Whiplash” as an example. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival as a short film, before Chazelle turned it into a feature-length film starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. The film won Best Sound Mixing and Best Editing, and Simmons won Best Supporting Actor.
“You see that a lot during the Sundance Film Festival,” she said. “One year (filmmakers will) have a short film and the next they will have a longer film.”
Wang enjoys the short film format because she feels it takes filmmakers a lot of talent to tell a good story in a short format.
“There’s a very concentrated effort to create a full story arc,” she said.
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