Longing to see the shorts up for Oscars?

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An Oscar nomination can prompt a re-release of a feature film. Shorts rarely make their way into theaters — until nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles.

Nominated shorts screen in two separate programs: animation and live action. Omitted are nominees in the documentary shorts category. Although winners are to be announced on Feb. 22, this international line-up includes an entry made back in 2012.

Kids and critters typically figure in these accessible plots. All are narrative in form. For less conventional work, look to the Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival and Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation.

The treat among the animated nominees is “Feast” by Patrick Osborne from Walt Disney Animation Studios. A man’s best friend fetches him a wife. Currently playing in theaters with the animated feature “Big Hero 6,” “Feast” serves up canine cuisine that is comically incorrect.

“The Bigger Picture” from London is crafted with originality, but weaker titles animate a time-tripping 45 rpm record, a teased pig and his foxy pal, and three daughters of modernist architects in Norway.

The live action program excels with the 40-minute “Aya.” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis co-direct a touching story about the title character (Sarah Adler, the Israeli journalist in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Notre Musique”) driving a Danish musicologist to his Jerusalem hotel.

Also recommended is “Butter Lamp,” Hu Wei’s take on a traveling photographer in Tibet setting up six portraits with diverse backdrops. To its credit, this reflexive hybrid has landed in documentary, experimental and human rights festivals.

Other worthy dramas observe an Afghan teen navigating Zurich, two Belfast brothers keeping their pet chickens out of their mom’s oven, and a telephone dialogue starring Sally Hawkins at a crisis center with Jim Broadbent on the line.


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ShortsHD and Magnolia Pictures presents two programs. Running times: 85 minutes (animated) and 118 minutes (live action). No MPAA rating. Opening Friday at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema.

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