15 Years of Great Oscars Expectations

The Oscar shorts screenings at the Tower Theatre are all about the photo opps — and of course, the world’s best in short-form cinema, presented by Fresno Filmworks.
This year’s screening of the Oscar-Nominated Short Films marks the 15th anniversary of the collaboration between Fresno Filmworks, Magnolia Pictures, and ShortsTV to share the world’s best in short-form cinema with the Central Valley.

The 2020 Oscar shorts program, scheduled for Feb. 7 and 8 at Fresno’s historic Tower Theatre, features 19 films representing 10 different countries in animation, live action, and documentary categories. For Fresno- and Visalia-area moviegoers, it’s your exclusive chance to see all the shorts nominees presented together on the big screen, ahead of the Oscars ceremony on Feb. 9.

For those who haven’t made it out to see the Oscar shorts with Filmworks in the past, you may not know about the wildly different and lasting impacts of short films. Some shorts operate in their own little universe, while others pull comedy and tragedy and everything in between to show their heart.

Regardless of what you’re looking for in a short film program, here’s some of what you can expect when you come out to see the Oscar shorts with us.

In 2019, we leveled up to an actual red carpet (remnant).
Filmworks always rolls out the red carpet – literally! – for the Oscar shorts screenings. Back in the day, we would pick up some cheap cloth runners from Party City and roll with it, DIY style. But these days, we have an actual hunk of red carpet, thanks to longtime Filmworks supporter Bob McParland from Valley Remnants & Rolls.

Sometimes, seeing an actual Oscar statuette can really hypnotize.
What’s the best thing to do if you encounter a red carpet at a movie screening? Get your photo taken, of course! We will have a photographer on hand to document your entrance on the red carpet, with photos posted to our Facebook page. So look sharp! Dress to impress! And don’t worry; we won’t go full paparazzi on you if you’re not up for a photo.

Our sponsors (like JoGio Homes) help us make the Oscar shorts screenings a reality.
With the growing popularity of the Oscar-Nominated Short Films over the years, it’s more important than ever for Filmworks to connect with community sponsors who help make the screening a reality. This of course includes our monthly presenting sponsors from The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, and Stella Artois.

But it also includes our screening sponsors from The Tower Theatre, JoGio Homes, and the Rogue Festival, who all help share the love of film with their audiences. Make sure to stop and visit with these folks in the lobby, find out what else they’re up to in the community, and let them know you appreciate their support of our work.

The best cure for Oscar shorts fever? Watching the actual movies.
Once you roll up on the red carpet, get your photo taken, and do some meetin’ and greetin’ with our sponsors – and maybe even buy some popcorn or one of our signature cocktails! – then it’s time to get to the films. This year’s lineup, as always, promises a wide range of stories and filmmaking styles. We hope you enjoy these short bursts of cinematic joy.

A multimedia storyteller who works at Fresno State, Jefferson Beavers serves on the Filmworks advisory board.