The Rundown 2020: Documentary Short Subject

For our sixth Rundown article, we take a glimpse at Best Documentary Short Subject. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Documentary Short Subject as well as general commentary about the race. Friday, we’ll cover Best Adapted Screenplay.

Best Documentary Short Subject

Winner Predictions

  • Colette
  • A Concerto Is a Conversation (WL O)(TL O)
  • Do Not Split (PP R) [New]
  • Hunger Ward (TB O)
  • A Love Song for Latasha

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Colette (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)

(color and symbol key at bottom of page)

Wesley Lovell: Until I’ve seen the nominees, I cannot give an opinion. That said, based on the descriptions, I’m sticking with my original prediction of A Concerto Is a Conversation with Colette as the runner-up. Now, I should have seen them all by the time final predictions are due, at which time I’ll be in a better position to make predictions/opinions of them.
Peter J. Patrick: This is a tough call. The one I enjoyed the most is the uplifting A Concerto is a Conversation made by an award-winning film composer about his grandfather, but I suspect the up-to-date Do Not Split about the Hong Kong protests of 2019-2020 will prevail due its urgency. Holocaust remembrances are always big vote getters which makes Colette, about a 90-year-old French resistance fighter who visits the concentration camp where her 20-year-old brother died three weeks before the camp was liberated in 1945, a strong runner-up.
Tripp Burton: This category likes their relevant, powerful examinations of what is wrong in the world today, and the images of Hunger Ward and Do Not Split seem the most likely to play to that streak. They are bleak films that feel necessary. Don’t discount the love for the Holocaust, though, and the heart-tugging tale that Colette tells could be right up their alley.
Thomas La Tourrette: The uplifting A Concerto Is a Conversation feels like a winner. It brings up the subject of race across generations and was the easiest to watch, with both human interest and heart. Colette might edge it as anything to do with the Holocaust does well at the Academy and a film about a 90-year-old French woman finally going to the concentration camp where her brother died was moving. Do Not Split makes the uprising in Hong Kong very personal and moving. Hunger Ward puts a human face on the suffering brought on by the civil war in Yemen. The children suffering from malnutrition grabs you, but the doc moves slowly enough that people may lose interest in it. A Love Song for Latasha about the killing of a young Black girl tugs at the heart, but I found some of the techniques the filmmakers used to be off-putting. I think A Concerto will 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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