KEARNEY — For most audiences, Oscar-nominated films mean feature-length movies filled with well-known stars and legendary directors.
The annual celebration of the movie industry also includes other types of films.
“These films don’t get much exposure in theaters,” Bryce Jensen said of the Oscar-nominated short movies. “These entries tour the film festivals to get recognition and nominations, but they are rarely seen by large audiences.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor the best films of 2020 with Oscar awards on April 25. The World Theatre will present three categories of short films, including live action, documentary and animation, Friday through Sunday. Admission to each showing is $5.
“In the past we’ve just shown one category and toyed around with the idea of showing all three,” said Jensen, executive director of The World Theatre. “This year, since we’re back up and going after the pandemic, we wanted to try all three and see how audiences will respond.”
- Friday – 7:30 p.m. — Live action films, rated R, 130 minutes
- Saturday – 7:30 p.m. — Documentary films, rated R, 136 minutes
- Sunday – 2 p.m. — Animated films, rated PG-13, 99 minutes
“I love short films,” Jensen said. “The stories are concentrated in one little tiny nugget. If you don’t like it, you can just wait for the next one. Watching a bunch of films in a series is very enjoyable. Some of them might take you to a weird place and others might uplift you, taking you to all kinds of emotions.”
“The Letter Room,” 32 minutes, directed by Elvira Lind, features a lonely corrections officer who gets assigned to screen mail intended for inmates in a prison. He connects with the deeply personal letters for a prisoner on death row and finds himself intertwined with the personal lives of the prisoner and the letter writer. The comedy includes performances by Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) and Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development”).
The documentary category includes films that focus on a member of the French Resistance during World War II, the lineage of a Black family struggling against prejudice from the Jim Crow South, the Hong Kong protests in 2019, therapeutic feeding centers in conflict-ridden Yemen and the shooting of a 15-year-old girl in South Central L.A.
Jensen understands the contrast between short films and feature-length movies.
“When you watch a single feature in a theater, you have that tone that brings you through the arc of the story,” he said. “Watching a series of shorts lets you go through a whole gamut of emotions. It’s quite an experience.”
Will McCormick, who wrote the script for “Toy Story 4,” makes his directorial debut, along with Micheal Govier, in “If Anything Happens I Love You.” The action in the 12-minute animated film follows grieving parents who become estranged after the death of their daughter at a school shooting.
The directors, who met at acting school, wanted to make a film where shadows represent emotions that people found difficult to express. In “If Anything Happens I Love You,” the shadow of their daughter represents a force that brings the adults together to confront their grief.
Face masks and social distancing are required at The World Theatre at this time. Patrons can purchase tickets online in advance to choose their seats. Tickets purchased at the door will be assigned seats with distance between other parties. Masks should be worn when moving about the theater. For more information visit the website TheWorldTheatre.org.