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88th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2015 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog



Animated Feature Predictions (Nov 21st)

With only 16 films qualifying, the bare minimum to allow for 5 nominations
What does that mean? It means we might see less than 5 nominees this year.
Lots more animated hoopla on the blog

Tier 1 - Predictions

If three nominees then... if four then... if five then...

June 19th

Stop Motion

November 25th

December 11th

Stop Motion

Pixar returns to form with this inventive joyous and tearjerking film about the inner mind of an 11 year old girl.


Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's odd adults-only dramedy is already a critical darling


Venice Grand Jury Prize

With parent company Disney out of the way and Dreamworks stuck in sequel mode there's room for two Pixars


Nothing but raves for this non-verbal toon from Brazil when it screens.


Aardman should never be underestimated and though box office was troubled, reviews were goodfor this silent comedy miaadventure


Tier 2 - Other Possibilities

November 6th
(Blue Sky / Fox)

May 22nd
(Studio Ghibli / GKids)

July 10th

August 7th
Mixed Media

March 27th

Reception has been warm. But warm enough for an Oscar nomination? It could happen.



Possibly the last feature from Studio Ghibli which gives it a kind of cache though it never got much attention in release


a massive hit but you need more than box office. even in this category



This anthology is a passion project for producer Salma Hayek. She worked hard to get her last passion project nods (Frida) but reception was so quiet for this one


a massive hit but you need more than box office. even in this category

The Rise and Fall of Dreamworks

6 More Qualifying Titles...

The Long Shots

Not Eligible -- or Just Not Submitted? 
 Strange Magic (Touchstone, Jan 23rd), Extraordinary Tales (GKids, October 23rd) Metegol now retitled "Underdogs"(Argentina), Tanta Hilda (France)

Will we see some of these foreign titles next year instead?
 Big Fish & Chinese Flowering Crapapple (China), Phantom Boy (France), Sheep and Wolves (Russia), Robodog (Germany), Capture the Flag (Spain), Top Cat Begins (Mexico), El Americano: The Movie (Mexico), Little From the Fish Shop (Czech Republic, Puppetry & CG), Miss Hokusai (Japan), Adama (France), Mune (France), Sarasuberi: Miss Hokusai (Japan)


Animated Short Predictions (Nov 21st)
These are the 10 finalists, whittled down from a long list of about 60 films - Discuss the list here.

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Sanjay's Super Team
Sanjay Patel
(Pixar Animation Studios)
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
Konstantin Bronzit
(Melnitsa Animation Studio)
World of Tomorrow
Don Hertzfeldt
(Bitter Films)
If I Was God...
Cordell Barker
(National Film Board of Canada)

Bear Story
Gabriel Osorio
(Punkrobot Animation Studio)

7 minutes

Patel previously worked on Pixar movies and Björk's cartoon video "I Miss You"! This short will show before The Good Dinosaur

16 minutes

Russian astronauts. Bronzit was previously nom'ed in this category for Lavatory Lovestory

16 minutes

From the legendary Don Hertzfeldt. He's often too outre for them, though.


Watch It!

8 minutes

a young boy's mind wanders in biology class. Barker has been nominated twice for this Oscar

11 minutes

It would be the first film nominated in this category from Chile if it happens - this allegorical fable is of a bear ripped form his home for the circus is set during Pinochet's bloody regime

Tier 2 - Five More Possibilities
Richard Williams
(Animation Masterclass)
An Object at Rest
Seth Boyden
My Home (Chez Moi)
Phuong Mai Nguyen
(Papy3D Productions)
Love in the Time of March Madness
Melissa Johnson & Robertino Zambrano
(High Hip Productions and KAPWA Studioworks)

Carface (Autos Portraits)
Claude Cloutier
(National Film Board of Canada)

? minutes

This is a tease for a longer project by Williams (of Thief and the Cobbler fame)

6 minutes

A final thesis project from Cal Arts. A stone meets human civilization

Watch It!

12 minutes

A boy's mother is back home but when he wakes up, black feathers are everywhere in his house. This is the only Oscar finalists that's also a César finalist in France's corresponding category

9 minutes

A biographical short about a basketball star who dates shorter men

? minutes

An anthropomorphic car sings "Que Sera Sera" - the concept sounds dreadful but its from NFBC so you have to take it seriously sight unseen

Tier 3 - The Previous Long List (60 Titles)

The Apple Tree, Au Fil de l’Eau (On Flying Water), Between Times,German Shepherd, Juan y la Nube (Juan and the Cloud),  Pineapple Calamari, Snowfall, Starlight, Storm Hits Jacket, Violet, Zoe, Castillo y el Armado, Grace Under Water, The Master, Still Born, Voodoo Love Story, The Looking Planet, Air-Mail (Messages dans l’Air), Amélia & Duarte ,The Ballad of the Homeless, Bucko the Bull, Dame Mit Hund, Driving, The Loneliest Stoplight, Loop Ring Chop Drink, Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose, The Pride of Strathmoor, Soar, Stripy, Taking the Plunge, 9:30 am, The Sense of Touch, The Story of Percival Pilts, Zimbo, Load, Alex & Sylvia, The Beautiful Forest, Dissonance, Fink Forest Friends: The Invisible Honk, Waves ’98, The Final Passage

The long-listers you can watch online in full:
The Agony and the Ecstasy, Dinner for Few, Limbo Limbo Travel, Chiaroscuro, Submarine Sandwich, and Edmond

The long-listers from previous Oscar nominees or involving previous Oscar folk that didn't make the finals:
Aria For a Cow, Taking Flight, Submarine Sandwich and (Otto),

The long list was not published by the Academy but was provided by Cartoon Brew
who sleuthed from qualifying festivals and followed screenings.




Documentary Feature
We've reviewed 17 of the 124 titles thus far that are vying for a finalist than a nominee slot. Which films are you rooting for?

Tier 1 - Predictions as of November 21st


Sequel to Oscar nominated Act of Killing


Gotham Nominee, IDA Nominee

We keep hearing this title when we ask documentarians about their favorites from this year

Gotham Nominee

 The sherpa communities fight with mountain climbers on Everest. It recently won Best Documentary at the London Film Fest


AACTA Nominee

Televised debates of 1968 Buckley vs Vidal


Popular on HBO it's certainly high profile. Will enough AMPAS members resent scientology and back it despite the controversy?
Tier 2 - Other Strong Possibilities

Asif Kapadia (Senna) turns his camera on the death of the celebrated singer

Reviewed / top ten box office hit docs of 2015

BIFA nominee, IDA Nominee,



Albert Maysles last film, returning to a fav subject: eccentric women who knew Jackie O. Will they want to honor Maysles?


  Patricio Guzman's documentary on the ocean, particularly the coastline of Chile

From Winter's Bone director Debra Granik


Michael Moore's latest


Tier 3 - Will they make the finalist list?

Audience Award Sundance

top ten box office hit docs of 2015

From Oscar winner Barbara Kopple


on Janis Joplin from Amy Berg (Oscar nominated for Deliver Us From Evil)

From performance art legend Laurie Anderson -critically beloved already but too weird for Oscar?

Gotham Nominee

Grand Jury Prize, Sundance


Tier 4 - Other Eligible Titles. 124 films are screening for the branch to choose finalists from

Above and Beyond. All Things Must Pass, Amy, The Armor of Light, Ballet 422, Batkid Begins, Becoming Bulletproof, Being Evel, Beltracchi – The Art of Forgery, Best of Enemies, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (IDA Nominee), Bolshoi Babylon, Brand: A Second Coming, A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story, Call Me Lucky,Censored Voices, Champs, CodeGirl, Coming Home, Dark Horse (BIFA nominee), Deli Man, Dior and I, The Diplomat, (Dis)Honesty – The Truth about Lies, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, Dreamcatcher, dream/killer, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon, Eating Happiness, Every Last Child, Evidence of Harm, Farewell to Hollywood, Finders Keepers, The Forecaster, Frame by FrameGardeners of Eden, A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile, Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, He Named Me Malala, Heart of a Dog, Hitchcock/Truffaut, How to Change the World (BIFA nominee), Human, The Hunting Ground, I Am Chris Farley, In Jackson Heights, In My Father’s House, India’s Daughter, Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words, Iraqi Odyssey, Iris, Janis: Little Girl Blue, Karski & the Lords of Humanity, Killing Them Safely, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Lambert & Stamp, A Lego Brickumentary, Listen to Me Marlon (Gotham Nominee, IDA Nominee) , Live from New York!, The Look of Silence, Meet the Patels, Meru, The Mind of Mark DeFriest, Misery Loves Comedy, Monkey Kingdom, A Murder in the Park, My Italian Secret, My Voice, My Life, 1971, Of Men and War, One Cut, One Life, Only the Dead See the End of War (AACTA Nominee), The Outrageous Sophie Tucker, Peace Officer, The Pearl Button, Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer, Poached, Polyfaces, The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers, Prophet’s Prey, Racing Extinction, The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, Ride the Thunder – A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal, Rosenwald, Russian Woodpecker (IDA Nominee), Searching for Home: Coming Back from War, Seeds of Time, Sembene!, The Seven Five, Seymour: An Introduction, Sherpa, A Sinner in Mecca, Something Better to Come, Song from the Forest, Song of Lahore, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans, Stray Dog, Sunshine Superman, Sweet Micky for President, Tab Hunter Confidential, The Tainted Veil, Tap World, (T)error, Thao’s Library, Those Who Feel the Fire Burning, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets, The Touch of an Angel, TransFatty Lives, The True Cost, Twinsters, Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists, The Wanted 18 (also on the Foreign Submissions List), We Are Many, We Come as Friends, We Were Not Just…Bicycle Thieves. Neorealism, Welcome to Leith, What Happened, Miss Simone? (IDA Nominee), What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy, Where to Invade Next, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, and The Wolfpack

Not on the eligibility list for some reason
Where is Silvered Water: Syrian Self Portrait? When it wasn't on the long list last year we assumed it had arrived too late and would be there this year. Perhaps we'll see them next year -- it's difficult to understand the eligibility with Oscar's doc branch - but missing are: the Nora Ephron doc Everything is Copy, the Orry-Kelly costume design doc Women He's Undressed


Documentary Short
Here are the ten finalists

Tier 1 - Predictions

Body Team 12
(RYOT Films & Vulcan Productions)
d. David Darg
(Kanaki Films)
d. Raúl de la Fuente
A Girl in the River - The Price of Forgiveness
(SOC Films)
d. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
My Enemy My Brother (Fathom Film Group)
d. Ann Shin
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
(Jet Black Iris America)
d. Adam Benzine

13 minutes

the team tasked with collecting the victims of Ebola in Liberia. This won the doc short prize at Tribeca

Official Site

IDA Nominee

28 minutes

This short about three female miners in Bolivia won the Goya last year. Can it repeat at the Oscars?

Official Site

40 minutes

Pakistan's first Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (Saving Face, 2011) returns. This short is on a woman who survived an attempted "honor killing"

Official Site

18 minutes

Enemy soldiers from the Iran-Iraq war become blood brothers

Official Site

40 minutes

Oscar wasn't able to honor the 566 minute classic Holocaust doc Shoah (1985). So will they want to honor this short about its director?

Official Site

IDA Nominee


Tier 2 - Or it could just as easily be...
Chau - Beyond the Lines
(Cynasty Films)
d. Courtney Marsh
50 Feet From Syria
(Spin Film)
d. Skye Fitzgerald
Starting Point
(Munk Studios - Polish Filmmakers Assoc)
d. Michal Szczesniak
The Testimony
(Atria Film & Escape Artists)
d. Vanessa Block
Last Day of Freedom
(Living Condition)
d. Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman

34 minutes

A disabled man dreams of becoming a fashion designer

Official Site

39 minutes

The dangerous business of medical relief in war torn countries

Official Site

27 minutes

A female prisoner, incarcerated at 19, facing release a decade later

Official Site

??? minutes

Fighting against rape culture in Congo where rape is rarely prosecuted

Official Site

32 minutes

an animated memoir about a man who decides to stand by his brother who has committed a capital crime

Official Site

IDA Nominee

Long Eligibility List?
Titles not available



Live Action Short
A long list of 144 eligible titles was whittled down to the following 10 films.

Tier 1 - Predictions (as of November 21st)


Ave Maria
Basil Khalil, director, and Eric Dupont, producer (Incognito Films)
Bad Hunter
Sahim Omar Kalifa, director, and Dries Phlypo, producer (A Private View)
Jamie Donoughue, director (Eagle Eye Films)
Benjamin Cleary, director (Bare Golly Films)
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Patrick Vollrath, director (Filmakademie Wien)

15 minutes

a comedy about nuns whose routine, including a vow of silence is interrupted by an Israeli family and a broken down car

14 minutes

A man who witnesses a rape chases the rapist away and helps the woman conceal her attack

21 minutes
war drama

two young boys battles for survival with guns and soldiers in 1998 Kosovo (based on true events)

12 minutes

a speech impaired man
"faces his greatest fear" in this celebrated short


30 minutes

A divorced father picks up his daughter for their biweekly visit. But something is wrong...

The Free Man (Zi You Ren)
Quah Boon-Lip, director (Taipei National University of the Arts)


Day One
Henry Hughes, director (American Film Institute)

Winter Light
Julian Higgins, director, and Josh Pence, producer (Innerlight Films and Prelude Pictures)
Bis Gleich (Till Then)
Philippe Brenninkmeyer, producer, and Tara Lynn Orr, writer (avenueROAD Films)
Contrapelo (Against the Grain)
Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, director, and Pin-Chun Liu, producer (Ochenta y Cinco Films)

30 minutes

an ex con working at a laundromat meets a shy disabled girl

25 minutes
war drama

an Afghan American serving as an interpreter to the military meets a bomb-maker's pregnant wife

29 minutes

A professor engages in a battle of wills with trespassing hunters in Montana. Usually there's one short in the mix with recognizable stars. It's this one for 2015: Raymond J Barry, Q'orianka Kilcher, Josh Pence, and Vincent Kartheiser star

20 minutes

Two elderly neighbors watch the world unfold beneath them in Berlin each morning from their respective windows

19 minutes

A barber is forced to shave the leader of a brutal drug cartel

Eligibility List
The long list of 144 qualifying titles has eluded us