Cinema Series debuts Oscar nominated short films

By Chelsea Senecal | Contributor

The Cinema Series at Augusta University will screen every 2016 Oscar Nominated Short Film at the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre on Feb. 26.

Professor Buzzell explained that the event will be “an entire day of film watching,” beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m.

The event has been broken up into four, 90-minute segments that feature five films each: Documentary Shorts One, Animated Shorts, Documentary Shorts Two and Live Action Shorts. This collection includes works from all over the globe, including Pakistan, Chile, Liberia, Germany, Kosovo, the U.K. and the U.S.

The Cinema Series itself is “about trying to showcase films for the public that they wouldn’t find otherwise,” Buzzell explains.

This particular event will allow viewers to see the nominated films before the Oscar Awards ceremony on Feb. 28.

Thanks to the department of Student Life and Engagement and Westobou, admission is free for not only students and faculty, but also for the rest of the community.

Although the shorts will be available online and through other mediums, Buzzell suggests that people “enjoy cinema as they should—in a communal setting.”

Professor Buzzell is the current co-director of the Cinema Series alongside Professor Pukis. They decide the films that are shown for the Cinema Series together, taking into consideration many factors, including artistic merit, current significance and general interest.

Buzzell explains that the movies chosen for an event are meant to “explore the vast corners of established cinema” rather than marginalize any theme or location over another.

The Series prides itself on choosing movies (or in this case, shorts) that are not easily available or are intended for theatre viewing. Both of these are the case with the Oscar Nominated Short Films. Although the Short Films will be shown in theatres across the U.S., only the Cinema Series will bring them to Augusta, Georgia.

The Oscar Nominated Short Films all vary in origin and focus. The Documentary Shorts include stories following the Ebola outbreak, the dream of an Agent Orange victim, a Pakistani girl who survives murder in the name of honor and others that comment on social issues from around the globe.

The Live Action Shorts toggle scenarios involving Palestinian nuns who come to the aid of an Israeli family, a translator searching for a terrorist that comes face-to-face with gender and religious barriers, a weekend with a divorced father and his daughter, a friendship of two boys during the Kosovo war and the story of a complicated typographer.

Although the Documentary Shorts and the Live Action Shorts are not recommended for younger audiences, the animated shorts are considered family-friendly.

The Animated Shorts include the story of an old bear, a dialogue-free illustration of an event within the Spartan-Athenian wars, a Pixar film that follows an Indian-American boy that loves comics but must negotiate with a disapproving father, two friends who happen to also be cosmonauts and a little girl on a cerebral tour of her future.

The first set of Documentary Shorts will begin at 1 p.m. followed by the Animated Shorts beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The second part of the Documentary Shorts will begin at 7 p.m. and the Live Action Shorts will premiere at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free for all attendees.

For more information about the films, visit For more information about the Cinema Series, visit

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