The Documentary Short Films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards open on Friday, February 14 in Los Angeles at Laemmle Royal Theatre and at Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood on February 15. The 2014 Documentary Shorts feature fascinating character portraits within worlds perhaps never experienced before by viewers.
These Doc Shorts are screened in two feature-length programs (separate entry fees). Comprising Documentary Program A are:
- “The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life” (Directors: Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed) is perhaps my favorite short documentary featuring a most remarkable woman, the 109-year-old pianist, Alice Herz Sommer who is also the oldest Holocaust survivor. Still active in North London, she practices the piano every day, and her remembrances of her life, the Holocaust and more importantly her music make this one to beat, in my book.
- “Karama Has No Walls” (Director: Sara Ishaq) could be said to be a companion piece to Best Documentary Feature Oscar nominee, “The Square.” After witnessing the revolution in Egypt, college students in Yemen stage a sit-in protest in Change Square in 2011. The student cinematographers capture intense, historic footage of their Arab Spring protest that left 53 people dead.
- “Facing Fear” (Director: Jason Cohen) is a deeply personal tale of racist change and forgiveness. A gay, 13-year-old Matthew Boger was brutally beaten on the streets of Hollywood, by older teen Tim Zaal, a punk, neo-Nazi and his crew. Some 25 years later, a reformed Zaal, coincidentally meets up with his victim Boger. How will forgiveness play out for these two men?
Documentary Shorts Program B consist of two strong films:
- “Cavedigger” (Director: Jeffrey Karoff) is an amazing film about a man, Ra Paulette, who digs out extraordinary sandstone caves in New Mexico. And when I say extraordinary, these caves take your breath away. Of course, being a visionary artist/digger comes with challenges in terms of clients, paying bills, and maintaining relationships.
- “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” (Director: Edgar Barens) focuses both on the terminally ill Jack Hall, a man serving a life sentence for murder in the Iowa State Penitentiary and the volunteer inmates who care for him in the prison’s hospice program.
ShortsHD in partnership with Magnolia Pictures is presenting all the Oscar nominated short film categories (live action, animated and documentary shorts) in 350 theaters throughout select cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Live Action and Animated Oscar nominated Shorts move to the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles also beginning February 14.