While going to your local theater to see the latest big blockbuster is certainly fun, going to see an award-worthy film might be more fulfilling. The Academy Awards highlight the best short films every year, and while you won’t be able to see them at most cineplexes, the Detroit Institute of Arts shows them in a series of screenings before the ceremony. Nominees for the best live action, animated, and documentary short films will be screened at the DIA throughout the month of February. Here’s more information on the nominees and how you can catch these Academy Award nominated films.
Similar to thrills a feature-length film can give you, live action short films can tell a compelling story in a short amount of time. These films can be entertaining or enlightening, or even both, as they tell a more compact story than what you’re used to. This year’s Academy Award nominees include DeKalb Elementary, The Eleven O’Clock, My Nephew Emmett, The Silent Child, and Watu Wote/All of Us and will be featured throughout February. The live action shorts will be showcased along with the animated shorts as part of one screening. The total length of the screening will be approximately three and a half hours.
Similar to live action shorts, but perhaps even more so, animated shorts can transport you to another world. In just a short span, animated short films can either delight your inner child or hit you with complex emotions that live action films can struggle to hit. Dear Basketball, Garden Party, Lou, Negative Space, and Revolting Rhymes are this year’s Academy Award nominees and will be shown at the DIA. As mentioned before, the animated shorts will screen along with the live shorts in one three and a half hour screening.
Documentaries are able to shine a light on important topics in a way no other genre of film can, and the same can be said for documentary short films. With a runtime usually around 30-40 minutes, documentary shorts can inform viewers on topics they were previously unaware of or deepen their understanding of a certain subject. This year’s Academy Award nominees include Edith + Eddie, Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Heroin(e), Knife Skills, and Traffic Shop. The documentary short films will be shown on Saturday, February 10, Sunday, February 18, and Thursday, February 22. Due to limited screenings, those interested are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance.
Along with these screenings, the Detroit Film Theatre highlights films and directors that are rarely seen in most cineplexes throughout the whole year. They highlight recent documentaries that can’t be found anywhere else, rare classic gems, and some of the most important films in history that should be experienced on a big screen. They also host special guest speakers or live performances throughout the year. You can see their full list of upcoming events here.
The short film series is by far the most popular event at the DFT every year, meaning if any of the shorts sound interesting to you or you want to get a leg up on your Academy Awards pool, be sure to get your tickets here.