It’s that time of year, when the Academy starts rolling out their initial lists of films in the running for February’s Oscars. Earlier today, they unveiled the finalists for the visual effects award, a list featuring some of this year’s most costly movies. Now the Academy has released some contenders who most certainly will be the lowest-budget films among this year’s Oscar-hopefuls: the live action shorts.
Members of the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation Branch have narrowed down a list of 125 qualifying shorts to a group of 11 shortlisted films. The next cut is in January, when the Academy announces a list of three to five nominees in the category.
For the first time ever, the shortlist boasts 11 films instead of ten, due to a tie in the balloting. The films come from several different countries, including Afghanistan, Canada, Belgium and Brazil.
Most of these films were made by filmmakers unknown to the majority of movie-goers, but there is one title that stands out thanks to the names attached: when you find me, executive produced by two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard and directed by his daughter, actress Bryce Dallas Howard. The film was inspired by Canon’s multi-platform “Long Live Imagination” campaign.
Absent from this list are any films that qualified via the Student Academy Awards, which supplied the 2011 winner, God of Love, and two of last year’s nominees, Norwegian film Tuba Atlantic and German-Indian short Raju.
Here is the shortlist for this year’s live action category:
—A Fábrica (The Factory): Aly Muritiba, director (Grafo Audiovisual – Brazil)
—Asad: Bryan Buckley, director, and Mino Jarjoura, producer (Hungry Man – South Africa)
—Buzkashi Boys: Sam French, director, and Ariel Nasr, producer (Afghan Film Project – Afghanistan)
—Curfew: Shawn Christensen, director (Fuzzy Logic Pictures – United States)
—Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw): Tom Van Avermaet, director, and Ellen De Waele, producer (Serendipity Films – Belgium)
—Henry, Yan England, director (Yan England – Canada)
—Kiruna-Kigali: Goran Kapetanovic, director (Hepp Film AB – Sweden/Rwanda)
—The Night Shift Belongs to the Stars: Silvia Bizio and Paola Porrini Bisson, producers (Oh! Pen LLC – Italy/United States)
—9meter, Anders Walther, director, and Tivi Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions A/S – Denmark)
—Salar: Nicholas Greene, director, and Julie Buck, producer (Nicholas Greene – Bolivia)
—when you find me: Ron Howard, executive producer, and Bryce Dallas Howard, director (Freestyle Picture Company – United States)
Last year live action award went to The Shore, written and directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, In the Name of the Father).
Read more on EW.com: