Oscar Shorts: Worth the Trip to See “Asad”


See the trailer or click on the link below.


It was always enough of a challenge for me to see the five nominated films for Best Picture.  The Oscars like their films all delivered around Christmas and just dribbling out into theatres slowly  until the nominations then hoping for the big bump in attendance once the nominees are announced.  Now there are 9-10 nominees, depending on their initial votes, so it makes it that much harder to catch them all before the end of February.  (The show used to be at the end of March, but the Golden Globes, Director’s Guild, Joe’s Bar and Grill Favorites, combined to steal much of the Oscar thunder so they cut a month off my window.)

Oddly enough, they haven’t expanded the Best Director nominees, keeping them at five.  Thus, Argo, is the latest favorite–not necessarily because it’s the best (which I won’t argue, since I thoroughly enjoyed it) but because Ben Afleck was shunned for the director’s award.  With the majority of the votes coming in from the acting corps it’s reasonable to expect a lot of sympathy votes for the actor-formerly-know-for-Gigli. 

So I still need to see Silver Linings, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Djaingo Unchained.  We’ll see if I make it. 

I am therefore surpised, thanks to the Detroit Institute of Arts, to finally say that I’ve seen all the nominated short films–animated and live-action.  Last night, a packed house watched all ten nominees in what has become the biggest event in the Detroit Film Theatre’s calendar.  It’s only a five year tradition but one I’ll keep coming back to.  The animated shorts were first and they were great.  It was odd seeing a Simpsons short along with a Disney piece Paperman–a great story of romance in black-and-white produced by Pixar giant, John Lassiter.

The final film of the night was my favorite, however, the live-action short, Asad, a Somali boy’s painful and joyful lesson in his tough coastal village home of pirates and destination of invading soldiers.  It’s got an amazing blend of suspense, sadness, comedy and universal childhood perseverance.  I’m rooting for this one in a few weeks!

I hope that other theatres might consider rolling together short festival films for filmgoers in mainstream theatres.  It was a great night that I’d recommend to anyone.

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About Kevin Walsh

Kevin began MyMediaDiary.com in 2013 as an experiment that was as simple as "What's a blog?" and ended up becoming a forum for fellow writers. He's been a high school teacher for 28 years and worked as an administrator and instructor in colleges for 10 years since then. Contact him at: kevin@mymediadiary.com He is also the producer of the web-series and blog, www.DiggingDetroit, founder and producer for MMD Productions at www.mmdphotovideo.com which offers quick, professional photography, video and multimedia solutions for individuals, organizations and businesses. His high school media production text, "Video Direct," has been used in 40 states--and he occasionally still sells a few. He is the current president of the non-profit DAFT (Digital Arts Film and Television) which sponsors the Michigan Student Film Festival. He lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, is married to Patrice and is tolerated by his two kids Aidan and Abby who have all graciously allowed him to write about them on occasion.

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