2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films

Synopsis & Film Details

For two nights only, Fresno Filmworks proudly presents an exclusive presentation of The Oscar-Nominated Short Films 2020, just a day before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its winners. For the 15th straight year, Magnolia Pictures and ShortsTV continue the tradition of sharing the world’s best short-form cinema with the Central Valley in three categories: animation, live-action, and documentary. The two evenings will feature five full programs of Academy Award-nominated short movies, ahead of the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. Tickets cost $10 general admission, $8 students and seniors, and a special $15 double-feature ticket for any two programs. Assistive listening services are not available for these films.




Time between live-action and animation programs on Friday evening: 76 minutes
Time between animation and live-action programs on Saturday afternoon: 95 minutes
Time between live-action and documentary programs on Saturday evening: 75 minutes

ANIMATED – 85 minutes

Informally rated PG-13

  • Hair Love – An African-American father learns to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Directed by Matthew A. Cherry, USA, 7 min.
  • Dcera (Daughter) – In a hospital room, the Daughter recalls a difficult childhood moment when as a little girl she tried to share her experience with an injured bird with her Father. Directed by Daria Kashcheeva, Czech Republic, 15 min.
  • Sister –A man remembers his childhood and growing up with an annoying little sister in 1990s China. How would his life have been if things had gone differently? Directed by Siqi Song, China/USA, 8 min.
  • Memorable – Painter Louis and his wife Michelle are experiencing strange events. Their world seems to be mutating. Slowly, furniture, objects, and people lose their realism. They are “destructuring,” sometimes disintegrating. Directed by Bruno Collet, France, 12 min.
  • Kitbull – A fiercely independent stray kitten and a chained-up pit bull experience friendship for the first time. Directed by Rosana Sullivan, USA, 9 min.
  • Highly regarded additional short: Henrietta Bulkowski – A determined young woman, crippled with a severe hunchback, will stop at nothing to fulfill her dream of seeing the world. Features the voices of Chris Cooper and Ann Dowd! USA, 16 min.
  • Highly regarded additional short: The Bird and the Whale – A baby whale separated from his family discovers a caged bird, the sole survivor of a shipwreck. Together they struggle to survive, lost at sea. Ireland, 6 min.
  • Highly regarded additional short: Hors Piste – Two mountain rescuers take off in a helicopter for yet another rescue, but this time, not everything will go according to plan. France, 5 min.
  • Highly regarded additional short: Maestro – Deep into a forest, a gathering of wild animals start a nocturnal opera, conducted by a squirrel. France, 2 min.

LIVE ACTION – 104 minutes

Informally rated R

  • A Sister – An emergency services dispatcher must tap into all her professional skills when she receives a call from a woman in a desperate situation. Directed by Delphine Girard, Belgium, 16 min.
  • Brotherhood – Mohamed is deeply shaken and suspicious when his estranged eldest son Malek returns home to rural Tunisia with a mysterious young wife in tow. The emotional complexities of a family reunion and past wounds lead to tragic consequences. Directed by Meryan Joobeur, Tunisia, 25 min.
  • The Neighbors’ Window – The life of a middle-aged woman with small children is shaken up when two free-spirited 20-somethings move in across the street. Directed by Marshall Curry, USA, 20 min.
  • Saria – Inseparable orphaned sisters Saria and Ximena are fighting against daily abuse and unimaginable hardship at the Virgen de La Asuncion Safe Home in Guatemala when a tragic fire claims the lives of 41 orphaned girls. Directed by Bryan Buckley, USA, 23 min.
  • Nefta Football Club – In south Tunisia, two football fan brothers bump into a headphones-wearing donkey in the desert on the border of Algeria. Unaware that two men are waiting for the donkey and its hidden drug stash, the brothers take the animal back home with them. Directed by Yves Piat, Tunisia/France, 17 min.

DOCUMENTARY – 160 minutes (Including a 10 minute intermission)

Informally rated R

  • Life Overtakes Me – Hundreds of refugee children in Sweden who have fled with their families from extreme trauma in their home countries have become afflicted with Resignation Syndrome. Facing deportation, they withdraw from the world into a coma-like state, as if frozen, for months or even years. Directed by John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson, Sweden/USA, 39 min.
  • Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if You’re a Girl) – Over the course of 15 years, a class of young girls from disadvantaged neighborhoods in war-torn Kabul, learn to read and write, and grow together in confidence through the joy of skateboarding. Directed by Carol Dysinger, UK, 39 min.
  • In the Absence – When the MV Sewol ferry sank off the coast of South Korea in 2014, over three hundred people lost their lives, most of them schoolchildren. Years later, the victims’ families and survivors are still demanding justice from national authorities. Directed by Yi Seung-Jun, South Korea, 28 min.
  • Walk Run Cha-Cha – Chipaul and Millie Cao reunited in 1980s Los Angeles after being separated by the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they become ballroom dancers to reconnect again and make up for lost time. Directed by Laura Nix, USA, 21 min.
  • St. Louis Superman – Bruce Franks Jr., a leading Ferguson activist and battle rapper who was elected to the overwhelmingly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives, must overcome both personal trauma and political obstacles to pass a bill critical to his community. Directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, USA, 28 min.