If colossal blockbusters are the types of movies you’re looking for this summer, there will be plenty to choose from in the next couple of months — Transformers: The Last Knight, Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Dark Tower, to name a few. However, if you’re in the mood for more of a “special movie-going experience,” Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesdays (through August 15) is where you want to be.
Along with classic films like the Marx Brothers’ 1933 comedy Duck Soup and groundbreaking documentaries like 2016’s Tower, TPR will screen 10 short films that were nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year in the Animated Short and Live-Action Short categories.
“I program Oscar shorts every year because folks miss them in the rush toward the Oscar ceremony,” said Nathan Cone, vice president of cultural and community engagement for TPR. “Folks love the varied themes and creative approaches these filmmakers bring to the craft. Plus, you get 10 movies in one night!"
For the animated shorts, Pixar’s Oscar-winning Piper (dir. Alan Barillaro) will headline the category. The film follows the adventures of a hungry baby sandpiper as it hunts for food on the seashore and overcomes its fear of the water. It took Barillaro and his animation team three years to complete the six-minute film.
The other nominees in the animated shorts category screening are Blind Vaysha (dir. Theodore Ushev), an eight-minute Canadian short about a young girl who can see the past out of one eye and the future out of the other; Borrowed Time (dirs. Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj), a seven-minute Western featuring a weather-beaten sheriff confronting his painful past; Pear Cider and Cigarettes (dir. Robert Valley), a 35-minute graphic-novel-inspired short from Canada, which follows a man who travels to China to help his sick best friend get home to Vancouver; and Pearl (dir. Patrick Osborne), a six-minute short that follows a girl and her father on a cross-country road trip. Pearl is the first virtual reality film ever to be nominated for an Oscar.
In the live-action shorts category, the 25-minute Oscar-winning Hungarian film Sing (dir. Kristóf Deák) tells the story of a young girl living in Budapest who joins the award-winning choir at her new school, but is told by her teacher not to sing aloud because she is not good enough.
Along with Sing, the other nominated films screening are Ennemis Intérieurs (dir. Sélim Azzazi), a 27-minute French drama about a French-Algerian man who is accused of protecting the identities of terrorists; La Femme et le TGV (dir. Timo von Gunten), a 30-minute Swiss short featuring a lonely widow living in Switzerland who begins a relationship with a train driver; Silent Nights (dir. Aske Bang), a 30-minute Danish short about a volunteer at a shelter who falls in love with an undocumented immigrant; and Timecode (dir. Juanjo Giménez), a 15-minute short from Spain that follows the lives of two parking lot security guards.