Sunday, Feb. 9, will be all pomp and circumstance in Hollywood—even more so than usual in this traditionally pompous and circumstantial town. That night will host the film industry’s Employee of the Month Awards: the Oscars.
While stars pat each other’s backs and exchange golden statuettes, the evening’s “entertainment” also shines a light on some of the more typically unsung artists of the film world. Cinematographers and sound mixers have their time up on stage (though they are more likely to be played off stage by the orchestra than, say, Brad Pitt).
Among the noblest pursuits of this oft ignoble ceremony is the brief attention paid to short films and their makers, including the late Kobe Bryant.
Across three categories—Live Action, Animated and Documentary—the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lends its gaze to 15 short-form films.
The average cinemagoer has had ample opportunity to check out the Best Picture nominees in theaters—should the desire have impelled at any point—but the short films are typically much more difficult to find.
For the residents of and visitors to the Wood River Valley, however, this needn’t pose a problem. Thanks to the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, cinephiles will have the opportunity to view each of the nominated short films at Ketchum’s Magic Lantern Cinemas across eight screening events.
“Our presentation of the Oscar-nominated shorts is a unique opportunity for local film buffs to see each and every short film that’s up for an Oscar this year,” said Kristine Bretall, director of performing arts at The Center.
“Outside of this venue—and our special screening of the Manhattan Short Film Festival in October—short films can be difficult, if not impossible, for the general public to see [in theaters],” Bretall continued. “Many of the films are from outside the U.S., offering viewers glimpses into the cultures and filmmaking styles of other countries. They always range from funny to sad, insightful to poignant.”
A week from today, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, the Magic Lantern will offer two screenings of the shorts nominated in the Live Action category. The first showing will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the second will follow at 7 p.m. Those showtimes will remain the same for each of the three following batches of screenings.
The following day, on Thursday, Feb. 6, the Magic Lantern will screen the animated nominees. The following week, once winners have already been determined, the documentary shorts will screen in two different programs. As these typically run a wee bit longer, they have been split into two distinct lineups for Wednesday, Feb. 12, and Thursday, Feb. 13.
It is worth noting that these films—even the animated ones—may not be suitable for younger audiences. They are not reviewed or rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (the institution that determines which movies are “PG” and which “R,” etc.), so The Center encourages patrons to contact its offices directly for content advisory information. One may do so by calling 208-726-9491 or by sticking one’s head into The Center’s Ketchum headquarters at 191 Fifth St. E.