Traditionally, the Academy Awards for Best Live Action Short, Best Animated Short and Best Documentary Short are considered minor categories among the industry and the general audience. That might change this year due to major celebrities producing shorts that are eligible for these categories. The Hollywood Reporter and Scott Feinberg have the exclusive, which details the talent hoping for Academy Award attention. Some examples of these A-Listers involved in the Oscars landscape are:
Taylor Swift for All Too Well: The multiple-time Grammy winner produced a short film which told the story displayed in All Too Well, a song that was first released a decade ago, but was released again when the singer launched her album Red (Taylor’s Version).
The song and short film (starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien) tell the story of a young girl who gets involved in a relationship in which she feels she is not listened to. The short was screened at AMC Lincoln Square last fall for a week, which led to the production being elegible for next year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
Kendrick Lamar for We Cry Together: Another short film to compliment a song enters the Awards race, this time in the form of Kendrick Lamar’s We Cry Together, which also stars Taylour Paige. The song and short combination is about a quarreling couple, and it was part of the album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, released in May.
This production screened at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Theatre from June 3rd until June 9th, making it elegible for next year’s ceremony. One screening took place every day during that spam of time, mostly attended by Lamar’s friends and family, while about twenty seats per screening were occupied by fans who purchased tickets.
Jeremy Lin for 38 at The Garden: The acclaimed basketball player produced a documentary short about a period of time known as Linsanity due to his dominance in the court. Around ten years ago, Lin played for the New York Knicks during that succesful era of his career.
The short is produced by the 2021 Best Live Action short Oscar winner, Travon Free, while CNN host Lisa Ling serves as executive producer. The project also marks the directorial debut of Frank Chi, an Asian-American who runs a DC-area political creative agency.
Ben Proudfoot and Naomi Osaka for Mink!: Proudfoot tells the story of the late Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color ever elected to the U.S. House of Represenatives. If the filmmaker were to get nominated next year, he would become only the second person in history, after Dick Young, to be nominated in this category for three years in a row.
A remarkable fact about this project is how tennis player and multiple Grand Slam winner, Naomi Osaka, serves as an executive producer. It remains to be seen which of these shorts will make the cut when the Academy Award nominations are announced next year.