The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have announced that the Best Documentary Short Subject category has been narrowed down to eight contenders. The eight films will be further narrowed to three or five when the Academy announces their nominations on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011. I have found images or trailers, synopses, and websites for almost every film on the list, so check it out and let me know your thoughts!
Born Sweet directed by Cynthia Wade
Cynthia Wade Productions [Website]
SYNOPSIS: A boy comes of age in rural Cambodia while struggling with arsenic poisoning and dreaming of becoming a karaoke star.
Killing in the Name directed by Jed Rothstein
Moxie Firecracker Films [Facebook Page]
SYNOPSIS: Four years ago, Ashraf Al-Khaled and his bride were celebrating what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives, when an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber walked into their wedding and blew himself up, killing both of their fathers in front of their eyes. The couple lost 27 members of their family that day.Â KILLING IN THE NAME follows Ashraf in his quest to speak with victims and perpetrators, and expose the true costs of terrorism. From a jihadi recruiter for Al-Qaeda, the group responsible for bombing his wedding, to an Islamic militant behind one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks, to a madrassa filled with young boys ready to fulfill the duty of jihad, Ashraf takes us on a harrowing journey around the world to see if one man can speak truth to terror, and begin to turn the global tide. At times chilling and moving, terrifying and hopeful, KILLING IN THE NAME is a far-reaching and necessary first step in tackling what is arguably the most pressing issue of our age. As Ashraf puts it, “If we can’t even talk about it, this terror will never end.”
Living for 32 directed by Kevin Breslin
Cuomo Cole Productions [Website]
SYNOPSIS: Living for 32 is the inspirational story of Colin Goddard, a survivor of the tragic gun shooting massacre which occurred on the Virginia Tech campus, April 16th, 2007. The winning combination of Colin’s passion, charisma and optimism has commanded the attention of the American public and media since the devastating incident which left 32 dead and 17 injured. In Living for 32, Colin shares an intimate account of terror he and his classmates endured and the courageous journey of renewal and hope he chose to pursue.
[Image: IFC Center]
One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey directed by Keith Alexander
No other information is available.
Poster Girl directed by Sara Nesson
Portrayal Films [Website]
SYNOPSIS: Apple pie cheerleader turned tough-as-nails machine gunner in the Iraq War, Sgt. Robynn Murray comes home to face a new kind of battle she never anticipated.
No images or video available.
Strangers No More directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Simon & Goodman Picture Company [Website]
SYNOPSIS: In the heart of Tel Aviv, there is an exceptional school where children from forty-eight different countries and diverse backgrounds come together to learn. Many of the students arrive at Bialik-Rogozin School fleeing poverty, political adversity and even genocide. Here, no child is a stranger. The film follows several studentsâ€™ struggle to acclimate to life in a new land while slowly opening up to share their stories of hardship and tragedy.
Sun Come Up directed by Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
Sun Come Up, LLC [Website]
SYNOPSIS: Sun Come Up follows the relocation of some of the world’s first environmental refugees, the Carteret Islanders – a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home. The film follows relocation leader, Ursula Rakova, and a group of young islanders led by Nick Hakata as they search for land in war-torn Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea 50 miles across the open ocean. But many Bougainvilleans remain traumatized by the “Crisis” as the civil war is known locally. Nick Hakata and his fellow islanders meet a few sympathetic locals, but will the Bougainville communities welcome them to move there?
The Warriors of Qiugang directed by Ruby Yang
Thomas Lennon film, Inc. [Website]
SYNOPSIS: Villagers in central China take on a chemical company that is poisoning their land and water. For three years they fight to transform their environment and as they do, they find themselves transformed as well.
Check out the official websites of the above films for showtimes near you. The 83rd Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 and the ceremony will be on Sunday, February 27, 2011.
Which of these documentaries looks/sounds the most intriguing to you?