Each year since 2009 (except for 2021’s pandemic lockdown marathon) I’ve paid visits to Keystone Art Cinema, the oldest surviving art-film theater in Indianapolis, to view the big-screen releases of the Academy Award nominees for Best Live-Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film. Results vary each time and aren’t always for all audiences, but I appreciate the opportunities to sample such works and see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences deemed worthy of celebrating, whether I agree with their collective opinions or not. Since 2019 I’ve also assigned myself the extra-credit activity of catching as many nominees for Best Documentary Short Film as possible, depending on their availability online. The good folks at Shorts.TV, who package the theatrical releases each year, are supposed to be releasing them for home rental sometime soon, which will be a nice way to save yourself some gas money.
First up: my rankings of this year’s five Best Animated Short Film nominees, which were the most mixed of mixed bags that I’ve seen in years, not to mention the edgiest and incontrovertibly NSFW-iest. Four are available online; one was exclusive to the Shorts.tv program.