Movie News & Reviews

The short end of Oscar

For the 24th year, the Wichita Public Library will show Academy Award-nominated short films beginning this weekend. Wichita is one of a few cities to have all of the films in one program — and this year there is even a Kansas connection to one of the films.

"Academy Award Shorts" will be presented starting Saturday through March 13. All screenings are free and open to the public.

At 10 a.m. Saturday and again March 13, moviegoers can watch live-action, animated and documentary short films at the Warren Old Town, 353 N. Mead.

Throughout the next week, branch libraries will screen just the live-action and animated nominees. A documentary-only program will be shown Wednesday at the central library (see accompanying schedule for details).

To qualify as a short subject for Academy Award consideration, films must be less than 40 minutes in running time. They are unrated, but some contain adult content and language. The Academy Awards will be presented Sunday night in Hollywood.

Here is a look at the films.

Animated short film nominees

"French Roast" — A businessman discovers he has misplaced his wallet while having coffee. (Dir. Fabrice O. Joubert, 8 min., France)

"Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty" — A grandmother retells "Sleeping Beauty" in her own style to her petrified granddaughter. (Dir. Nicky Phelan, 6 min., Ireland)

"The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerta)" —An elderly woman's life is at stake in a struggle between the Grim Reaper and a smug doctor. (Dir. Javier Recio Gracia, 8 min., Spain)

"Logorama" — A look at what happens in a world made of logos and trademarks when one of them goes bad. (Dir. Nicolas Schmerkin, 17 min., France)

"A Matter of Loaf and Death" — Wallace and Gromit return in this mystery where a serial murderer is after their city's bakers. (Dir. Nick Park, 29 min., United Kingdom)

Live-action (fiction) short film nominees

"The Door" — A family deals with the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. (Dir. Juanita Wilson, 17 min., Ireland/Russia)

"Instead of Abracadabra" — While his father wishes he would find employment, a young man fantasizes about being a magician. (Dir. Patrik Eklund, 18 min., Sweden)

"Kavi" — An Indian family, including a young boy, is forced to work in a brick kiln. Former Wichitan Chris Witt was the editor on the film (he grew up in Wichita and attended West High School but now lives in Los Angeles — his family still lives here, and he says he calls Wichita "home"). (Dir. Gregg Helvey, 19 min., USA/India)

"Miracle Fish" — A young boy gets an unusual birthday gift. (Dir. Luke Doolan, 18 min., Australia)

"The New Tenants" — After moving into an apartment, its new occupants find themselves part of its long history of horror. (Dir. Joachim Back, 20 min., Denmark)

Documentary short nominees

"China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province" — A look at the aftermath of the earthquake that killed 70,000 people. (Dir. Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, 38 min., USA/China)

"The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner" — Examines the former Washington governor's Death with Dignity ballot initiative (Dir. Daniel Junge, USA) (This film will not be shown.)

"The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant" —Employees deal with terminations as a factory closes in Ohio. (Dir. Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, 40 min., USA)

"Music by Prudence" — The inspiring story of Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena. (Dir. Roger Ross Williams, 33 min., USA/Zimbabwe)

"Rabbit a la Berlin" — While the Berlin Wall divided a city, large rabbits found the area a perfect place to live. (Dir. Bartosz Konopka, 40 min., Germany/Poland)