Why The Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts Have Been Taken Offline
In annual office Oscar pools, most of us are totally screwed when it comes to the shorts category, since few casual moviegoers have heard of—much less seen—any of them. But Shorts International has been making it easier and easier for audiences to see these celebrated shorts by compiling them for special screening events at theaters across the nation. But now the internet is now threatening their ability to do so, forcing Shorts International to put their foot down.
Not so long ago, every single nominated cartoon in the Best Animated Short Film category was easy to find online. While this might seem like great news for the shorts and their makers—getting them loads of free exposure—it was very bad news to the theater owners who booked these specialty screenings. With these shorts being so accessible, why would anyone pay to see them at their local theater? So, Shorts International entreated the nominees to pull their animated shorts, telling them attendance at screenings has "plummeted." Low attendance numbers have theater owners threatening to cancel their Oscar Shorts Theatrical bookings, which could kill the screening series Shorts International has been building for eight years.
In the letter, which you can read here, courtesy of Deadline, Chief Executive Carter Pilcher points out that putting shorts online not only offers no clear competitive advantage at the Academy Awards, but also hurts Shorts International's effort to help resurrect the shorts medium in the public arena. Since the letter went out, all nominees have reportedly been pulled (though some are still posted in unofficial capacities), except for Disney's Paperman. Maybe because it played before Wreck-it Ralph and will soon be on that film's DVD release, Disney didn't see the point.
To support short films, seek out Shorts International's Reach for the Stars Oscar screenings. Check out the trailer for the animated portion below:
Back to top