There are 15 films on the shortlist in this category – watch ten of them yourself by clicking on the hyperlinked titles! The majority of these films are between eight and sixteen minutes, though one is shorter and two are considerably longer. Some are wordless and others are subtitled, and there’s a range of dazzling animation techniques being used. Let’s unpack the shortlist.
The longest and the one that feels more than a full-length feature is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, which will appeal if voters are looking for traditional animated storytelling. It’s Nice in Here and More Than I Want to Remember use film as a medium to explore memory, while Black Slide tackles grief through a surprising venue. New Moon and My Year of Dicks both have strong autobiographical influences, though Colman Domingo’s involvement with the former may prove more helpful than the latter’s provocative (yet very fitting) title. The Flying Sailor and The Garbage Man are imaginative explorations of memory and experience, while The Debutante and An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It deal with larger-than-life elements in a playful way. Sierra and Ice Merchants present parental relationships in a fascinating and creative manner. Steakhouse subversively looks at a problematic relationship in a tongue-and-cheek way, while Passenger confronts social anxieties in a fun way. The shortest of the bunch, Save Ralph, feels innocuous at first but presents an urgent call for change in under four minutes.
Predictions: Black Slide, Ice Merchants, New Moon, Passenger, Save Ralph