2021 Oscars Preview – Best Documentary Short


Hollywood’s biggest night is upon us once again and it is my distinct pleasure to offer this comprehensive preview into who will take home the biggest prize of the night: Best Documentary Short.

Whilst some consider awards such as Best Picture, Best Director or Best Actor/Actress to have more prestige, being “woke” and “down with the kidz”, I consider Best Documentary Short to be the true culmination of the evening’s events.  This award offers a platform to younger filmmakers, rewarding stories with a youthful zest not seen in the categories favored by your average popcorn muncher, who fawn over their blockbusters like Nomadland, Mank and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 

I have long stressed the need for cinema to evolve, lest it be left behind and there is no doubt that audiences these days do not have the attention span for the Best Documentary Feature category. Indeed, my son Humphrey recently introduced me to the social media website Tick-Tock, which may be the future of the medium. Will we see a Best Tick-Tock at the 2022 Oscars? I digress, we must focus on the present and the films which will be competing for this year’s top award.

Whilst the runaway favorite is Waltzing In Aleppo, a very moving tale of a Syrian dance group who have continued their weekly dance meets, maintaining some semblance of normality, even as bombs fall around them, my personal tip is 3145KM, which documents a man who walked the length of President Drumpf’s border wall, from Washington state to Washington D.C., in protest over the detention of migrant children.

Making up the numbers is Evan Almighty, which sees the inhabitants of a remote African village stage a recreation of 2007’s Evan Almighty, despite never having seen the film, nor indeed any film. The film is a touching ode to the power of cinema, whilst being a surprisingly poignant statement about environmentalism. 

Meanwhile All Dogs Go To Heaven (Especially These Good Boys) is a heart-warming tribute to some of the greatest canines to ever serve the United States, featuring never before seen interviews with Trevor and Poppy: two 9/11 search and rescue dogs, Conan: the dog famous for his role in the operation to kill ISIS leader al-Baghdadi, and Winston: the dog who appeared to say “parmesan” in a viral video on Youtube.  

A potential upset is The Academy Award Goes To…, an expose which investigates how La La Land was incorrectly awarded Moonlight’s 2017 Best Picture Oscar. Whilst the film itself is a marvel, the potential confusion which would ensue from the title being read out as the winner could prove a blow to its hopes of awards success on Sunday evening.

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