Circle Cinema premieres Oscar-nominated short films

Circle Cinema offered a showing of the Oscar-nominated short films. The animated short films premiered on Jan. 31 followed the next Friday (Feb. 7) by the premiere of the live action short films and documentaries.

ANIMATED SHORTS (Running Time: 83 minutes)

Reviews by Sam Levrault

“Dcera (Daughter)” – Daria Kashcheeva, Czech Republic, 15 min.

“Dcera (Daughter)” centers around the dynamic between an ailing father and a withdrawn daughter. Through flashbacks, the film explores common struggles for the father-daughter duo such as keeping a light-hearted supportive relationship between an adult and child to a respectful, yet separate relationship between an older adult and adult child. Illustrated in a Papier-mâché-like animation style, the film wonderfully communicates the transition parents and children face together.

“Hair Love” – Matthew A. Cherry, USA, 7 min.

The Matthew A. Cherry directed short film, “Hair Love” opens with a young girl getting ready for a special day. With the help of a friendly feline, Zuri faces challenge of styling her hair for the day, a challenge she later extends to her father. The two face off in a battle of compromise against seemingly unruly hair with the help of an online YouTube-like hair tutorial to create “Puffy Buns” in preparation for their grand adventure of the day. The film shows the important role a bonding moment like learning how to style hair can be to families.

“Memorable” – Bruno Collet, France, 12 min.

The French short film, “Memorable” tells the story of a painter, Louis, as his mind begins to fade. First losing a sense of time, followed by recognition in the objects and eventually people around him, Louis holds on to the art around him as he struggles to hold on to the love he has.

“Sister” – Siqi Song, China/USA, 8 min.

The short film, “Sister”, opens as a family portrait of four is being taken. The eldest child narrates the film and shares his childhood memories. The story, broken up into different stages, explores the playfulness and conflict that exists within a sibling relationship, specifically one during the 1990s in China.

“Kitbull” – Rosana Sullivan, USA, 9 min.

“Kitbull” tells the story of an unlikely friendship forged between a playful, yet intimidating pit bull and a cautious street cat. The two seem like opposites at the beginning only to overcome their difference in a game of tennis with a bottle cap. The film explores the interesting dynamic between the two and the obstacles they join to face together.

Circle Cinema will also show three additional shorts as part of the program:

“Henrietta Bulkowski” – USA, 16 min. (featuring the voices of Chris Cooper and Ann Dowd!)

“The Bird and the Whale” – Ireland, 6 min.

“Hors Piste” – France, 5 min.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS (to be offered as one program of 160 minutes)

Reviewed by Abbigail Dean

The documentaries are all Oscar nominated for both their inspiring and eye-opening messages. Each documentary displays real life problems. The documentaries bring to life both the darker sides of society along with perseverance and the celebration of the smaller moments in life.

“In the Absence” – Yi Seung-Jun, South Korea, 28 min.

“In the Absence”is a South Korean film by Yi Seung-Jun thathighlights tragedy to life with personal stories from survivors of the Sewol Ferry Incident, a South Korean Ferry that sank killing more than 100 students. The short covers all aspects of the incident moment by moment that allows the audience to understand the loss that those involved felt. The short covers the investigations that happened in the following years.

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if You’re a Girl)” – Carol Dysinger, UK, 39 min.

“Learning to Skate in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)” by Carol Dysinger isan inspirational film from the U.K. that follows young determined girls in Afghanistan going against cultural norms to not only get an education but to learn how to skateboard. The documentary is heartwarming and shows how even during oppression these girls continuously show courage and fight for the life they long to live.

“Life Overtakes Me” – John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson, Sweden/USA, 39 min.

“Life Overtakes Me”is a Swedish/U.S. film by John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson that brings light to the ever-growing epidemic of resignation syndrome. Registration Syndrome has been most known in Sweden. The sickness is a cause of mass amounts of trauma in a child’s life that causes them to go into a coma to protect themselves.  The short follows three families.  You are taken along on their journey to becoming Swedish refuges, and the events that lead their child into coma like state. The short brought to life the trauma that children are facing daily in oppressed countries and discussing the limits that children can take mentally. The heart wrenching film shows the importance of rebuilding hope into a child’s life.

“St. Louis Superman” – Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, USA, 28 min.

“St Louis Superman”is a U.S. film by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khanthat follows the journey of Bruce Franks and the events leading up to him becoming a state representative. The short does a good job at showing why the gun violence movement meant so much to Franks. The short is impactful and touches on certain issues such as equality and gun violence.

“Walk Run Cha-Cha” – Laura Nix, USA, 21 min.

“Walk Run Cha Cha” is a U.S. film by Laura Nix that speaks of to people brought back together through dance. The short follows them on their journey to creating a new life for themselves in California and understanding the importance of living every moment intentionally. 

For more information or showing times, visit the website at http://www.circlecinema.org.