Fifteen of the best movies of 2018 will be on screen at the Ross Media Arts Center this week in a package of Oscar Nominated Short Films.

Three Academy Awards are presented to short films — in animation, live action and documentary — and the nominees are shown in packages for each category.

Animation, naturally, is the shortest of the three, running 75 minutes with a couple extra shorts added to fill out the package. The live action shorts run 108 minutes while the documentary program is 157 minutes long.

A quick look at some of the nominees:


“Animal Behavior,” from previous Oscar winners David Fine and Alison Snowden, is a very funny look at a group therapy session for animals — a pig, leech, praying mantis, gorilla and bird — led by a dog,

“Bao” comes from Pixar-trained Domme Shi and finds a dumpling, or Bao, coming to life, giving an empty nest Chinese mother a new “child.”

“One Small Step,” a U.S.-Chilean production, looks at a Chinese-American girl who wants to become an astronaut.

Live action

“Detainment.” The nomination of this 30-minute Irish movie has been sharply criticized in England for its based-on-the-evidence adaptation of the story of the murder of a toddler. The murderers, 10-year-olds at the time, became the youngest convicted killers of the 20th century.

"Skin," from Israeli-American director Guy Nattiv, is also powerful and disturbing in its depiction of a racially driven clash between a black gang and a white redneck family, triggered when a black man smiles at a white boy in a supermarket.


”A Night at the Garden." This seven-minute picture constructed entirely from archival footage delivers a harrowing reminder of a long forgotten 1939 rally where 20,000 people packed New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism and illuminates the power of demagoguery that continues to resonate in the U.S.

 “Lifeboat.” This powerful 40-minute film captures the efforts of volunteers from Sea Watch to save as many refugees fleeing from Libya as possible before their makeshift rafts sink in the Mediterranean.

A complete listing and descriptions of all the shorts and the screening schedule is available at theross.org.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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