Starting Friday, the historic Tampa Theatre will show all the top Oscar nominees for short films, including animated films, documentaries and live action. It all leads up to the big Oscar night party on March 27; Tampa Theatre is one of the few sanctioned theaters allowed to show the live telecast.
In the past, the 96-year-old movie palace would show all the top Oscar nominees. But because of the tightened timeline for this year’s Academy Awards calendar and the fact that the theater has already shown most of the top feature films, they decided to focus on the Oscar-nominated shorts, a spokeswoman said.
On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced eight awards will be presented off-air, including the three short film awards. According to the Associated Press, the awards for film editing, production design, sound, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score) and the three short film awards (documentary, live-action and animated) will be presented at a ceremony before the March 27 broadcast.
The collection of five Oscar-nominated live-action short films includes On My Mind, an 18-minute film from Denmark in which a man wants to sing a song for his wife. “It has to be today, it has to be now. It’s a question of life, death and karaoke,” the film’s promo said. Also on the nominees list is the futuristic Please Hold, in which a prisoner must go head to head with the labyrinthine, computerized bureaucracy of the privatized American justice system, in search of an actual human being who can set things right.
Usually filled with grim stories, this year’s list of short documentaries is considered one of the more uplifting collections. It includes When We Were Bullies, a 36-minute film about the mind-boggling coincidence that leads the filmmaker to track down his fifth grade class and teacher to examine their memory of a bullying incident 50 years ago. And from Afghanistan comes the award-winning Three Songs for Benazir, which reveals how modern-day Afghans live, love and seek space for themselves amid constant instability.
The animated collections includes Robin Robin, a tale of a small bird whose unhatched egg falls out of the nest and into the trash. “She comes out of her shell, in more ways than one, and is adopted by a loving family of mice burglars,” the producers write. In Affairs of the Art, director Joanna Quinn and screenwriter Les Mills continue their series of award-winning animated UK films starring Beryl, a 59-year-old factory worker who’s obsessed with drawing. They may be animated films, but many in the collection are not for children, the theater warns.
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The live-action shorts collection will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday Monday and March 3, as well as 5:15 p.m. March 5; 3 p.m. March 6; and 7:30 p.m. March 9.
Though there are a variety of films, this short films program is considered R-rated for language and depictions of adult themes and violence.
The documentary collection will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. March 1 and 4; 1:45 p.m. March 5; and 7 p.m. March 7.
Note that while this program is not rated, it should be treated as a PG-13 equivalent, the theater says.
Short animated films
The short animated film collection will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. March 2; 8 p.m. March 5; 6 p.m. March 6; and 7:30 p.m. March 8.
The theater warns that while these short films are animated, they are not intended for children and should be considered R-rated for depictions of nudity, adult themes, disturbing imagery and extreme violence.
Tickets are $11.50, $9.50 for ages 3-12 at the theater at 711 N Franklin St., Tampa, or online at tampatheatre.org.