2023 Oscars Best Documentary Short Predictions
In recent years, voters have chosen the Oscar for best documentary short film that tells human-centric stories.
We’ll be updating these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks. Final voting will take place March 2-7, 2023. The 95th Academy Awards telecast will air Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Check out IndieWire’s previous Oscar predictions for this category and more here.
The state of the race
It’s a good time to pay attention to the Best Documentary category.
While the recent documentary boom has had its ups and downs, an exciting by-product has been that competitors in the category have become more accessible than ever. Two of the films are available for free on YouTube, while two more are streaming on Netflix. Only How to Measure a Year is still working on finding an easy way to see it outside of the Academy Screening Room (and the forthcoming theatrical release of the full range of nominated shorts), but that hardly counts against it, since the Academy -Voters are already familiar with its director Jay Rosenblatt : Just last year he was nominated in the same category for his short film When We Were Bullies.
The film chronicles the life of his daughter Ella and features footage of interviews Rosenblatt has conducted with her every year on her birthday since she was two years old. Last year’s success of “CODA” would suggest the academy has fallen in love with father-daughter stories that are heart-tugging but a simple critique that “how do you measure a year?” might thwart. of winning is that it uses a format millions have already seen in the annual videos that Vanity Fair makes with Billie Eilish.
Netflix’s The Martha Mitchell Effect finds itself in a similar situation, coming between two high-profile limited series that also retold the details of the Watergate scandal. Starz’s “Gaslit” specifically had Julia Roberts play Mitchell, the outspoken wife of Nixon’s Attorney General, but the role didn’t garner as much attention as one might imagine. That could help this documentary project definitively retell Mitchell’s role, however, as it pulls together archival footage very well to create a great refresher on both the scandal and this fascinating, half-forgotten figure from recent American history.
As for the most dynamic film, “Stranger at the Gate” recently tapped activist Malala Yousafzai as executive producer. Saying more about it would be a spoiler, but the project, which is being distributed by The New Yorker, will appeal to both true crime fans and those looking for something a little more soulful, as director Joshua Seftel packs twists and turns into the story of a naval plan one attack a mosque in Indiana.
At the more eco-friendly end of the spectrum are Haulout, about a walrus beach, and The Elephant Whisperers, about an animal sanctuary, both of which have some pretty incredible nature shots. However, in recent years the members of the Academy have tended to focus more on the human being when choosing the best documentary film.
The nominees are listed below in order of their probability of winning.
“Stranger at the Gate”
“The Martha Mitchell Effect”
“How do you measure a year?”
“The Elephant Whisperers”
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https://www.indiewire.com/2023/02/2023-oscars-best-documentary-short-predictions-1234794212/ 2023 Oscars Best Documentary Short Predictions