A first look at the shortlist of contenders for the Oscar for Best Short Documentary was revealed on Monday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Most of the films are from the United States, while one is from Mexico and another Poland. The 8 films were narrowed down from 58 qualifying submissions and will be further narrowed down to 5 films when the official nominations are announced in January.
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 is a film from Ellen Kent premiering this fall on HBO that looks at the trauma with American veterans. Living in the face of detrimental health issues is actually a common theme with many of these films, as Lucy Walker’s The Lion’s Mouth Opens follows a woman dealing with the incurable Huntington’s Disease, Joanna shows the way familial comforts impact a woman with a serious illness and Our Curse looks at a family faced with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, or Ondine’s Curse.
Three families from the earthquake striken Beichuan, China are followed in One Child, which won a Student Academy Award in August. Fresh off its PBS premiere last month, Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace is a look at an artist in New York redefining the art of the portrait. The Reaper takes an Upton Sinclair-esque look at the industrial processing of meat as a larger look at death. Finally, White Earth turns to the oil boom in America’s Northern Plains and how life has changed for three children and one immigrant mother.
The final list of all nominees for the 87th Academy Awards ceremony are scheduled to be announced January 14th, 2015.