With many Oscar-nominated feature films now screening at Cinema Nouveau and Ster-Kinekor theatres countrywide, and with #OscarBuzz in full swing, lovers of all things celluloid film are in for another Oscar treat. Cinema Nouveau has secured the exclusive rights to screen the 2016 Oscar Nominated Short Films in the Live Action and Animation categories.
This is a first for South African movie audiences, who will be able to enjoy and appreciate this specialised form of film-making in the lead up to the 88th Academy Awards ceremony on February 28.
The films will be screened from Friday, February 19 at the four Cinema Nouveau theatre complexes at Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg, Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria, Gateway in Durban and the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Bookings for the Short Films open on February 16, and standard movie ticket prices apply, including the benefits and discounts available to members of SK Club, Discovery Vitality and Edgars Club.
The Short Films in the Live Action category that will be screened are: Ave Maria; Day One; Shok (Friend); Stutterer; and Alles Wird Gut (Everything will be okay).
In the Animation category, audiences can look forward to the following short films: Historia de un Oso (Bear Story); Prologue; Sanjay’s Super Team; World of Tomorrow and We can’t live without Cosmos.
Perhaps watching one of these short films from across the globe will inspire you to enter this year’s #OscarBuzz campaign. Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau are asking film-goers to pick winners in each category, and deliver your take on their acceptance speech come Oscar night.
It can be serious, quirky or downright comical… and, if yours is selected as the winning speech, you could find yourself the lucky winner of a Ster-Kinekor premiere card, which entitles you to free movie tickets for a year.
Once you have watched the award-winning Short Films or any of the Oscar-nominated feature films currently on circuit, and your acceptance speech has been written or recorded, share it on the Cinema Nouveau Facebook, Twitter or YouTube platforms, using the hashtag #OscarBuzz.
At the end of the promotion, the best acceptance speech will be announced. Its author will receive movie tickets for a year.
Here are synopses of the live action short films:
ALLES WIRD GUT (EVERYTHING WILL BE OK) – 30 mins (Germany/Austria); Director, Writer & Producer: Patrick Vollrath. Synopsis: A divorced father picks up his eight-year-old daughter Lea. It seems pretty much like every second weekend, but after a while Lea can‘t help feeling that something isn’t right. So begins a fateful journey.
AVE MARIA – 15 mins (Palestine/France/Germany); Director: Basil Khalil; Producers: Eric Dupont, Eric Fantone. Synopsis: The silent routine of 5 Palestinian nuns living in the West Bank wilderness is disturbed when an Israeli settler family breaks down right outside the convent just as the Sabbath comes into effect.
DAY ONE – 25 mins (USA); Director: Henry Hughes; Producer: Michael Steiner. Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, DAY ONE depicts a new translator’s first day accompanying a US Army unit as it searches for a local terrorist. As she quickly discovers, her job will bring up brutal complexities as gender and religious barriers emerge with lives hanging in the balance.
SHOK (FRIEND) – 21 mins (Kosovo/United Kingdom); Director & Writer: Jamie Donoughue; Producers: Harvey Ascott, Eshref Durmishi, Howard Dawson. Synopsis: The friendship of two boys is tested to its limits as they battle for survival during the Kosovo war.
STUTTERER – 12 mins (United Kingdom/Ireland); Director: Benjamin Cleary; Producers: Shan Christopher Ogilvie & Serena Armitage. Synopsis: Apart from his ageing father, Greenwood has only one connection to the external world in the form of an online relationship. Every night, often for hours at a time, he exchanges messages with Ellie. On the eve of their six-month anniversary, Ellie messages Greenwood and tells him that she has travelled to London to surprise him. She asks if he would like to take things “offline” and meet in person for the first time. From the moment when Greenwood gets that earth shattering message, he is suddenly faced with a daunting proposition with everything at stake.
Here are synopses of the animated short films:
HISTORIA DE UN OSO (BEAR STORY) – 12 mins (Chile); Director: Gabriel Osorio; Producer: Pato Escala. Synopsis: An old, lonesome bear tells the story of his life through a mechanical diorama.
PROLOGUE – 6 mins (United Kingdom); Director: Richard Williams; Producer: Imogen Sutton. Synopsis: Clocking in at six minutes, “Prologue” describes an incident in the Spartan-Athenian wars of 2,400 years ago. In it, a small girl bears witness as warriors battle to death. The dialogue-free project utilises natural sounds to complement the intense animation, entirely animated by Richard Williams himself. Williams – who is best known for his work as animation director on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, his unfinished feature “The Thief and the Cobbler” and Academy Award-winning “A Christmas Carol “adaptation – has worked on the film for many years in between other projects. It was finally completed this year at the Aardman Studios in Bristol, U.K.
SANJAY’S SUPER TEAM – 7 mins (USA); Director: Sanjay Patel; Producer: Nicole Paradis Grindle. Synopsis: In Sanjay’s Super Team, the new short film from Pixar Animation Studios, accomplished artist Sanjay Patel uses his own experience to tell the story of a young, first-generation Indian-American boy whose love for western pop-culture comes into conflict with his father’s traditions. Sanjay is absorbed in the world of cartoons and comics, while his father tries to draw him into the traditions of his Hindu practice. Tedium and reluctance quickly turn into an awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on a journey he never imagined, returning with a new perspective that they can both embrace.
WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT COSMOS – 16 mins (Russia); Director & Writer: Konstantin Bronzit; Producer: Alexander Boyarsky. Synopsis: Two cosmonauts, two friends, try to do their best in their everyday training life to make their common dream a reality. But this story is not only about the dream.
WORLD OF TOMORROW – 17 mins (USA); Director & Writer: Don Hertzfeldt. Synopsis: A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.