Most people watching the 91st Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday evening won’t have seen most, if any, of the Oscar-nominated shorts. After all, such films aren’t normally screened in your run-of-the-mill multiplex. Generally speaking, you’d have to live in or near a large city or major university town or be a weekend warrior visiting numerous film festivals to have the opportunity to view them.
But Southern Ocean County residents will have the chance to take in all 15 nominated shorts this week – before the awards ceremony is broadcast from Hollywood – thanks to the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences
The LBIF recently formed a partnership with the ShowRoom Cinema of Asbury Park to give it access to a greater range of films and The Showroom the chance to extend its reach to a broader audience. The screening of the Oscar-nominated shorts will be their first joint project.
There are three categories of short films from the U.S. and around the world – Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short and Best Live-Action Short. Each category will be featured on a different evening this week at the LBIF, located at 120 Long Beach Blvd.
Thursday, Feb. 21, is dedicated to the documentaries, the 27-minute “Black Sheep” from the United Kingdom and four entries from the United States including “End Game” (40 minutes), “Lifeboat” (34 minutes), “A Night at the Garden” (seven minutes) and “Period. End of Sentence” (26 minutes).
The focus of Friday, Feb. 22, is animated shorts, including “Animal Behavior” (Canada, 14 minutes), “Bao” (USA, eight minutes), “Late Afternoon” (Ireland, 10 minutes), “One Small Step” (USA & China, eight minutes) and “Weekends” (USA, 15 minutes). Two additional animated shorts will also be shown that evening.
Live-action short films will be screened on Saturday, Feb. 23. The nominees in this category are “Detainment” (Ireland, 30 minutes), “Fauve” (Canada, 16 minutes), “Marguerite” (Canada, 19 minutes), “Madre” (Spain, 19 minutes) and “Skin” (USA, 20 minutes).
The screenings will begin at 7 each evening. Tickets are $11 per night and may be purchased on EventBrite (visit lbifoundation.org for ticket links). Limited quantities will be available at the door.
The evenings will give locals not only the opportunity to see the Academy Award-nominated shorts and impress the guests at any Oscar party they may be attending with their knowledge of the films, but also a chance to learn more about The Showroom. Opened by Michael Sodano and Nancy Sabino in 2009, it was the first movie house in Asbury Park in 30 years. But The Showroom is more than a movie theater; it’s a community center/performance space/screening room that thrives on diverse but themed events combined into a single multimedia experience.
Visit shorts.tv/theoscarshorts/ for film synopses and director biographies.