Who Won for Best Short Film? Did I hear that right?

A rant about the best short film Oscar in 2024.

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3/12/2024

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I didn’t watch the Oscars last night because I’m tired of them.

Tired of the cliché bits, hosts, jokes, routines and insider politics, but I expect all of that, so I won’t comment on any of it. Especially since I didn’t watch, so I don’t even know it.

However, something unusual happened last night at the Oscars that still caught me off guard. More off guard than I thought possible, and it reminded why skipping the Oscars was the right thing to do.

I received a message that Wes Anderson won for Best Short Film.

Nothing that follows should be interpreted as directed against Wes Anderson. He’s an amazing director whose work speaks for itself. He does what he does and does it well.

BUT. For the Academy to give the Short Film Oscar to Wes Anderson. When thousands of filmmakers have worked their asses off to create amazing short films, hoping they may be recognized. It’s sad, disappointing and pathetic.

They opted to give the short film Oscar to one of the biggest directing names in the business. Could there be anything bigger that shows just how out of touch the Academy voters are?

I’m sure they’ll say that the Wes Anderson and Netflix names had absolutely no influence over them. That none of the tens of thousands of films made last year came close to this one. The film was just that good.

Judging by who made it, I’m guessing that it was that good. But was it the right thing to do?

To ignore thousands of short and independent filmmakers scratching out an existence to make short films?

Is this a new Netflix strategy to increase their Oscar count? If so, it’s brilliant. They certainly can outspend and out maneuver short filmmakers. Sorry. There’ll be no more short film awards for all of you watching from home. This is now studio territory, too.

One of those small filmmakers could have had a chance to win an Oscar last night. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure that filmmaker would have showed up to the ceremony as well. Unlike Wes Anderson, who didn’t.

Though, if I were Wes Anderson, I wouldn’t have showed up either. It’s an Oscar for a feature or nothing. Why bother for a short film.

It’s odd that the news outlets don’t see it this way. They’re all singing in chorus.

“It’s Wes Anderson’s first Oscar!!!”

Really?

I have to repeat it. For a SHORT FILM?

Going to one of the biggest directing names in the industry.

Going to a major studio?

HELLO!

In the end, the Academy does what it does. The news agencies report as they do. They gave the award to an insider for a category intended for outsiders.

They took an Oscar away from one of the small voices. For whom this was likely a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Until it wasn’t.

By: SF Block

Writing about indie filmmaking.

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