The Rundown 2019: Short Films

For our tenth Rundown article, we examine the fiction short films. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Animated Short Film & Best Live Action Short Film as well as general commentary about the race. Wednesday, we’ll cover the look and the pace of the Oscars.

Best Animated Short Film

Winner Predictions

  • Dcera (Daughter)
  • Hair Love (TB O) (TL O)
  • Kitbull (WL R) [New]
  • Memorable
  • Sister (PP O)

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Hair Love (WL R) [New]
  • Kitbull (TB R) [New] (TL O)
  • Memorable (PP O)

(color and symbol key at bottom of page)

Wesley Lovell: The two best short films are Hair Love and Kitbull. These also happen to be the more accessible films with Dcera (Daughter, Memorable, and Sister somewhat abstract. I suspect that Kitbull will win, but Hair Love is a very close second.
Peter J. Patrick: A strong group of nominees, but if I were voting the winner would be Sister, with Memorable next in line.
Tripp Burton: There are a lot of really lovely films on this list this year, but this is really going to be a competition between the two big studio entries. The Pixar short Kitbull is cute (and dark!), but the edge probably goes to the timely, popular, Kickstarter-funded Hair Love.
Thomas La Tourrette: It was a good year for animated shorts. Memorable was in many ways the most memorable of the lot, dealing with a couple as the husband goes into dementia. The animation is intriguing, but there have been several over the past years that have covered similar topics. Dcera (Daughter) was the oddest of the bunch. Done in a more traditional claymation, though in a rather ugly style, it just did not appeal to me so much. Sister was also a little strange, but the ending dealing with the one child policy of China will make it resonate. I think the winner will be one of the more traditional style of animated films. Both Kitbull and Hair Love are not the best drawn, but the sweet stories will carry one of them to the winners circle. Kitbull deals with the friendship that develops between a feral cat and a new pitbull added to its life. Hair Love is about a father and daughter trying to tame her unruly mane of hair. They are both touching, which the academy will like. I give the edge to Hair Love, though could see the longer Kitbull prevailing.

Best Live Action Short Film

Winner Predictions

  • Brotherhood
  • Nefta Football Club
  • The Neighbors’ Window (WL R) [New] (TB O) (WL R) [New]
  • Saria (PP O)
  • A Sister

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Brotherhood (TL R) [New]
  • Nefta Football Club (WL R) [New] (TB O)
  • A Sister (PP R) [New]

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Wesley Lovell: Of the five nominees, all are relatively accessible, tackling rather important topics. However, between Nefta Football Club, The Neighbors’ Window, and A Sister, I think the winner lies, though I believe Saria could surprise. That said, Neighbors’ Window is the most surprising, Nefta is the most light-hearted, and A Sister is the most important. I think ultimately, the inventiveness of Neighbors’ Window could win, but Nefta has the sweetness factor that the Academy has adored in the past.
Peter J. Patrick: The heartbreaking Saria should prevail here, but nothing is certain.
Tripp Burton: I haven’t gotten a chance to watch all these yet, so this is just a guess. I will have a more informed prediction before the ceremony.
Thomas La Tourrette: It was a decent though not spectacular year for live action shorts. None was truly outstanding but also there was not one incredibly weak entry either, which can often be the case. Nefta Football Club was cute, but one could easily guess the ending. A Sister was harrowing, but other films that have dealt with hotlines or 911 calls have been nominated in the past, so it may not win. Saria was rather downbeat, though will appeal to the liberal voters, though probably not enough to win. The story of an orphanage in Guatemala is appalling and devastating. That leaves Brotherhood and The Neighbors’ Window. Brotherhood is the longest of the nominees, which often is the winner. It is also the most topical, dealing with a family that has a son come back from fighting with ISIS and trying to deal with that. It is not the best made, but it does have emotional appeal. The one that will stay with me the longest is The Neighbors’ Window which deals with a harried family noticing and being jealous of their new neighbors across the street. It has a bittersweet ending that will probably resonate with voters. I think it will be Neighbors’ Window, but could see Brotherhood sneaking in for the win.


Appears on Four Lists
Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton Thomas LaTourrette
[New] = New Prediction
[Return] = Prior Prediction Returning
(O) = Original Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series

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