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Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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Oscar nominated short films via ShortsTV and theatrical release April 2

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondence

One of the best Oscar categories to enter is the short subject for film, insiders say, because there are less entries and the field is still wide open for newcomers worldwide. Whether this is true or not can only be tested by entering your short, however there is a great way to find out what the nominated films look like for 2021. ShortsTV is displaying a slate of combined films for digital and theatrical release on April 2.

From Screenmancer

LOS ANGELES, CA: Said to be the world’s only short movie TV network, SHORTSTV will showcase Oscar-nominated short film releases with theatrical premiers in the Best Live Action Short, Best Animated Short and Best Documentary Short categories on April 2, in addition to Digital Premieres. (List of venues follows titles.)

This year’s complete release includes the following nominated short films:



Director: Madeline Sharafian

Synopsis: A young rabbit embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she's doing. Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 6 minutes 

Language: Non-Dialogue 


Director: Adrien Merigeau

Synopsis: One night, Reine, a young loner, sees among the urban chaos a moving oneness that seems alive, like some sort of guide.

Country of Origin: France

TRT: 16 minutes

Language: French 


Director: Michael Govier, Will McCormack

Synopsis: In the aftermath of tragedy, two grieving parents journey through an emotional void as they mourn the loss of a child.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 12 minutes

Language: English 


Director: Erick Oh

Synopsis: “Opera” is a massive 8K size animation installation project which portrays our society and history, which is filled with beauty and absurdity. Erick enables viewers to experience the range of in-depth emotions through this epic reflection of human life. 

Country of Origin: USA/South Korea

TRT: 9 minutes

Language: Non-Dialogue 


Director: Gísli Darri Halldórsson

Synopsis: One morning, an eclectic mix of people face the everyday battle - such as work, school and dish-washing. As the day progresses, their relationships are tested and ultimately their capacity to cope.

Country of Origin: Iceland

TRT: 8 minutes

Language: Icelandic

"Highly Recommended" - Included in the animation program


Director: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Synopsis: Long ago, four extraordinary individuals of dual male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. The name of their leader was Kapaemahu. Beloved by the people for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, they imbued four giant boulders with their powers. The stones still stand on what is now Waikiki Beach, but the true story behind them has been hidden – until now.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 8 minutes, 24 seconds

Language: Niihau Hawaiian with English subtitles


Director: Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon

Synopsis: A beautiful tale of an unlikely friendship, a tour of the world and a heroic rescue. Based on the picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Country of Origin: UK

TRT: 25 minutes

Language: English


Director: Taylor Meacham

Synopsis: A heartfelt story about the art of illusion and the magic of inspiring someone to follow their dreams.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 7 minutes

Language: English

Short films even have their own collectible movie poster from ShortsTV.



Director: Doug Roland

Synopsis: A late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen in need and a DeafBlind man.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 19 minutes 

Language: English 


Director: Elvira Lind

Synopsis: “The Letter Room” is a dark prison comedy about the secret life of a correctional officer who gets transferred to a job in the letter room, where a new world suddenly opens to him ways to find solace and spirituality afterwards.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 33 minutes 

Language: English 


Director: Farah Nabulsi

Synopsis: On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

Country of Origin: Palestine 

TRT: 25 minutes 

Language: Arabic/English 


Director: Travon Free, Martin Desmond Roe

Synopsis: In "Two Distant Strangers,” cartoonist Carter James' repeated attempts to get home to his dog are thwarted by a recurring deadly encounter that forces him to relive the same awful day over and over again. Starring Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard and Zaria Simone.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 29 minutes 

Language: English


Director: Tomer Shushan

Synopsis: A man finds his stolen bicycle, which now belongs to a stranger. While attempting to retrieve it, he struggles to remain human.

Country of Origin: Israel

TRT: 21 minutes 

Language: Hebrew 



Director: Anthony Giacchino

Synopsis: On the anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg trials, 90-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine confronts her past by visiting the Nazi concentration camp in Germany where her brother was killed. As a young girl, she had been a member of the French resistance and had always refused to set foot in Germany. That changes when a young history student named Lucie enters her life. Prepared to reopen old wounds and revisit the terrors of that time, Marin-Catherine offers important lessons

Country of Origin: France/Germany/USA

TRT: 24 minutes 

Language: French 


Director: Kris Bowers, Ben Proudfoot

Synopsis: A virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer tracks his family's lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 13 minutes 

Language: English  


Director: Anders Hammer

Synopsis: The story of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, told through a series of demonstrations by local protestors that escalate into conflict when highly armed police appear on the scene.

Country of Origin: USA/Norway

TRT: 20 minutes 

Language: English/Cantonese/Mandarin 


Director: Skye Fitzgerald

Synopsis: Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, HUNGER WARD documents two women health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war. The film provides an unflinching portrait of Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they try to save the lives of hunger-stricken children within a population on the brink of famine.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 40 minutes 

Language: Arabic, English  


Director: Sophia Nahli Allison

Synopsis: The injustice surrounding the shooting death of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins at a South Central Los Angeles store became a flashpoint for the city’s 1992 civil uprising. As the Black community expressed its profound pain in the streets, Latasha’s friends and family privately mourned the loss of a vibrant child whose full story was never in the headlines. Nearly three decades later, director Sophia Nahli Allison removes Latasha from the context of her death to craft a dreamlike portrait of a promising life lost, demonstrating the impact one brief but brilliant life can have.

Country of Origin: USA

TRT: 19 minutes 

Language: English  

The following are opening day theaters in LA and Orange County:

Block 30 @ Orange

Orange, CA

Burbank 16

Burbank, CA

Citywalk Stadium 19

Universal City, CA

Covina 17

Covina, CA


Los Angeles, CA

The Landmark or Nuart Theater

Los Angeles, CA

Mercado 20

Santa Clara, CA

Ontario Mills 30

Ontario, CA

Promenade 16

Woodland Hills, CA

Camelot Theatre 3

Palm Springs, CA

Oscar Shorts 2020 - Documentaries - in theaters 4/9 (One admission):

Documentary program running time: 136 minutes


Los Angeles, CA

Virtual Engagement on 4/2

Landmark Theaters will have all three programs.

Laemmle Theaters will be opening only the Documentaries.

Other Virtual Cinema engagements:

The Frida Cinema, Santa Ana CA (all three programs)

Art Theater of Long Beach, Long Beach CA (all three programs)

Oscar Shorts 2020 - Animation & Live Action (Separate admissions): Animation program running time: 99minutes (including 3 Highly commended films). Live-action program running time: 130minutes.

For tickets and other theaters, please visit:

# # #


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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith

LA Correspondent for

United States

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