Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Check This Out!: The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014 on VOD

If you are like me and have read the Oscar nominations on any given year, you are likely to notice a few categories that seem different. This is usually from the fact that the nominees within them are shorts that have been inaccessible to the general public in as clear a way as even the Best Animated Feature category. While many of the Best Animated Short or Best Live Action Short selections have been shown before these films, the average film goer doesn't have the know how to see all of these films just to see the brief segment before the feature. It is financially insane to even consider that. However, thanks to Shorts HD in their eighth year, there is an alternative to blind voting with their annual program called Oscar Nominated Shorts.

With Oscar Night less than two weeks away, there is little doubt that everyone is scrounging to watch any loose ends of the nominees in order to participate fully in discussion. Thanks to Shorts HD, the accessibility of the shorts programming has been made available for $7.99 in the past and is likely to stay that way when they release their video on demand (VOD) program next week on February 25. 

They also have rather successful screenings in over 300 theaters annually and have been successful this year as well. While it is likely that you have missed the chance to see them on the big screen, that doesn't mean that you will miss them entirely. The VOD package is separated by categories (Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short, Best Documentary Short) to buy individually at approximately $7.99. While this may seem egregious, consider that this provides you ownership of the programming, which along with the nominees, features introductions from former winners as well as additional shorts that were in contention. 

As someone who has indulged in them the past two years, I am eagerly looking forward to perusing this year's titles and making my votes. These may be the categories that I do most poorly in predictions, but they're also the ones in which I enjoy the sense of discovery, such as last year's Abad or Buzkashi Boys. While numerous nominees and winners go on to bigger and greater things, it is that one opportunity to recognize talent that otherwise wouldn't get recognition. As it stands, I am still curious to know where these are publicly screened prior to the contention process. However, I have admired Shorts HD's work and they put out great work. 

Please check it out. It will be available on various platforms including iTunes, Amazon, and local providers such as Direct TV and Charter. Check here for more info. 

There is one warning that I must give to potential buyers. They may not always have the entire package. The Best Animated Shorts category two years ago was missing La Luna, which didn't play publicly until months later in front of the Pixar film Brave. Last year in the Best Animated Shorts category, The Longest Daycare was not present. There is a stray chance that a bigger studio title will not be represented. 

So what titles can we look forward to? Here is a list of each category and their nominees:

Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Room on the Broom

That Wasn't Me
Just Before Losing Everything
Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?
The Voorman Problem

Facing Fear
The Lady in Number 6
Karama Has No Walls
Prison Terminal

Based on titles alone, there's a lot of interesting titles to check out. I will hopefully be seeing the Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short selections and post about them sometime next week. As it stands, I personally enjoy the Best Live Action Short category the best, as it allows for world cinema to compete evenly with American shorts with exciting and striking stories. If you see any of these, please feel free to share your thoughts and tell your friends about them.

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