The annual popular program provides both the delight of discovery and renewed wonder at the ways in which the documentary cinema can explore the world through fresh points of view and unbridled curiosity. As in previous years, the 2018 Oscar® Short Docs program will present all five nominees in one spectacular presentation. Make your picks and see the winners announced at our annual UP THE AWARDS BENEFIT BASH on March 4th. Lists of titles along with synopses an d running times will be available after the nominations are announced on Jan. 23rd. If past years are any measure, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended! (Total Run Time: 194 minutes, that includes a short intemission.)
Program A (102 min):
Featuring footage caught on a dashcam, TRAFFIC STOP tells the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas whose routine traffic violation quickly escalated into a dramatic arrest at the hands of a white police officer.
Directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner. USA. 30 minutes.
HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405
This is a portrait of a brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of depression and mental disorder. Mindy Alper has suffered through electro shock therapy, multiple commitments to mental institutions and a 10-year period without speech. Her only consistent means of communicating has been to channel her hyper self-awareness into drawings and sculpture of powerful psychological clarity that eloquently express her emotional state. Through an examination of her work, interviews, reenactments, the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mache’ bust of her beloved psychiatrist, we learn how she has emerged from a life of darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and support.
Directed by Frank Stiefel. USA. 40 minutes.
EDITH + EDDIE
Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.
Directed by Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wrights. USA. 29 minutes.
INCLUDES A BRIEF INTERMISSION BETWEEN PROGRAMS
Program B (82 min):
Once a bustling industrial town, Huntington, West Virginia has become the epicenter of America’s modern opioid epidemic, with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. This flood of heroin now threatens this Appalachian city with a cycle of generational addiction, lawlessness, and poverty. But within this distressed landscape, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Hollow) shows a different side of the fight against drugs — one of hope. Sheldon highlights three women working to change the town’s narrative and break the devastating cycle of drug abuse one person at a time. Fire Chief Jan Rader spends the majority of her days reviving those who have overdosed; Judge Patricia Keller presides over drug court, handing down empathy along with orders; and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministry feeds meals to the women selling their bodies for drugs. As America’s opioid crisis threatens to tear communities apart, the Netflix original short documentary HEROIN(E) shows how the chain of compassion holds one town together.
Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon. USA. 39 minutes.
What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade? KNIFE SKILLS follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. In this improbable setting, with its mouthwatering dishes and its arcane French vocabulary, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant’s founder, who is also dogged by his past. They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives — an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part.
Directed by Thomas Lennon. USA. 40 minutes.
See Thomas’s feature film, SACRED here on March 10!
Total Run Time: 194 minutes