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Bloomington theaters to show Academy Award short film nominees



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The Oscar Shorts Film Festival will continue this weekend, Feb. 22-24, at various locations around Bloomington. “One Small Step,” a story of a young Chinese girl who wants to become an astronaut, is a nominee for the animated short category. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

The Oscar Shorts Film Festival will continue this weekend, Feb. 22-24, at various locations around Bloomington. 

Presented by local arts organization the Ryder, this festival showcases the Academy Award nominees for the three categories: Animated Short, Best Live Action Short Film and Best Documentary Film Short Subject. 

The festival is also showing four full-length films as a part of the Oscar’s theme. Three of these films are 2019 nominees, two for Best Documentary Feature and one for Best Foreign Film. 

Founding director of the Ryder, Peter LoPilato, said short films are very difficult to find or watch, so he wanted to give people the opportunity to see at least some of the more obscure films nominated for the Oscars. The Oscars air 5 p.m. Feb. 24.

“They’ll get to see films that they probably won’t have a chance to see elsewhere,” LoPilato said. 

This weekend’s screening will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the IU Fine Arts Building with a screening of the nominees for Animated Short and will be followed with the Best Live Action Short Film nominations.

The screenings continue at 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater with a screening of 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The animated film was nominated for an Academy Award in 1992 and was the very first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture. 

Although it is not a part of this year’s Academy Award nominees, it is a part of the history of the Academy Awards, so The Ryder wanted to include it. 

The day will continue with another showing of the 2019 nominees for animated short at 3 p.m. and live action short film at 4:45 p.m. To finish the night at 7:30 p.m., “RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” a nominee for Best Documentary Feature, will play at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. 

There will be screenings at two locations on the last day of the festival.

All 15 of the nominations in all three categories — live action shorts, animated shorts and then documentary short films —  will be shown starting at 1 p.m. Feb. 24 at the IU Fine Arts Theater. 

The live action short category includes “Detainment,” a true story about two 10-year-old boys who are detained by the police under suspicion of the murder of a toddler, and the documentary short subject nominees include “Lifeboat,” which follows the story of German volunteers who sail to rescue people from sinking rafts.  

A full list of nominations in these three categories can be found at variety.com. 

The nominees for the animated short category includes the Pixar short “Bao,” which tells the story of middle-aged empty-nester who gets a second chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings comes to life, and “One Small Step,” a story of a young Chinese girl who wants to become an astronaut. 

Another set of screenings will start at 3 p.m. at Bear’s Place. These screenings will include 2019 nominee for Best Documentary Feature, “Hale County This Morning This Evening,” and nominee for Best Foreign Film, “Shoplifters.”

At each event where one or more of the categories will be shown, there will be ballots available to those who want to predict the winners of the categories they watched. 

Those who guess at least one of the future Oscar winners gets a free Ryder movie screening ticket and their names will be entered in a drawing for a dinner for two at a local restaurant. There will be at least six winners of this final prize. 

Tickets for this event are $6 for an individual viewing, or $12 for the whole weekend.

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