It’s always fun to write the first Road to the Oscars feature for Picktainment, analyzing that sneaky, possible Oscar pool-breaking category of Short Films (Live Action). Here they are:

Pentecoast

Who: Written and directed by Peter McDonald
What: The story centers on a young Irish boy who faces a difficult choice that may leave him at odds with his small community. From the trailer, I have to say I get a creepy feeling about the whole priest, altar boy thing.

Raju

Who: Written and directed by Max Zähle
What: A German couple adopts an Indian orphan in Kolkata. Their child suddenly disappears and they realize that they are part of the problem. This one looks like a real tearjerker. Do you see that child’s face?

The Shore

Who: Written and directed by Terry George (who has been nominated for writing In the Name of the Father and Hotel Rwanda)
What: This follows the inspiring story of two boyhood best friends – Joe (Ciarán Hinds) and Paddy (Conleth Hill) – who are divided by 25 years of misunderstanding. Their world and their friendship is shattered by the conflict escalating in Northern Ireland, the two boys’ lives take very different paths until, 25 years later, Joe returns for the first time to his homeland with his 24-year-old daughter, Patricia. In his absence Paddy, his best friend, has married Joe’s former fiancée Mary. Looks extremely well-made — watch the trailer here.

Time Freak

Who: Written and directed by Andrew Bowler
What: A neurotic inventor hopes to correct his past mistakes by creating a time machine. It’s definitely a kooky idea.

Tuba Atlantic

Who: Written and directed by Hallvar Witzø
What: With only six days left to live, 70-year-old Oskar wants to put things right with his brother by traveling across the Atlantic in a giant tuba. Hmmm… Watch a clip here.

My pick? I think The Shore seems like a likely bet, with a strong acting and directing pedigree behind it. The short truly looks like a precursor to a feature film. The runner-up choice would be Raju, for what appears to be a heartbreaking subject matter.

Road to the Oscars Series

January 27: Best Live Action Short – Kit Bowen

January 31: Best Animated Short – Savanna New

February 1: Best Documentary Short – Christa Youngpeter

February 2: Best Documentary – Dantzler Smith

February 3: Best Foreign Language Film – Steve Neumann

February 4: Best Visual Effects – Michael Benedict

February 5: Best Sound Editing – Michael Benedict

February 6: Best Sound Mixing – Joseph Doherty

February 7: Best Makeup – Katie Mae Peters

February 8: Best Costume Design – Jax Russo

February 9: Best Art Direction – Scott Youngbauer

February 10: Best Film Editing – Michael Benedict

February 11: Best Cinematography – Scott Youngbauer

February 12: Best Original Score – Adam Spunberg

February 13: Best Original Song – Adam Spunberg

February 14: Best Animated Feature Film – Steve Neumann

February 15: Best Adapted Screenplay – Jeremy Martin

February 16: Best Original Screenplay – Jeremy Martin

February 17: Best Supporting Actor – Joseph Doherty

February 18: Best Supporting Actress – Angela Stern

February 20: Best Actress – Andrew Payne

February 21: Best Actor – Kit Bowen

February 22: Best Director – Andrew Payne

February 23: Best Picture – Kit Bowen