Even when we don’t agree with the results, I believe that the Oscars themselves remain important. Their pomp and circumstance elevates the art form of film itself. And practically speaking, they frame a year of creativity as a retrospective celebration. The Oscars help us remember the last year better than most New Year’s Eve parties.
There’s just one problem. Any video that’s been released first to the web is excluded from consideration.
It’s written in plain English on the Academy’s site:
Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category. This includes broadcast and cable television as well as home video and Internet transmission.
So Andrew Allen, who you may know best for working on the iPad app Paper, along with Jason Sondhi, who curates at Vimeo, co-founded Short of the Week (SOTW) to celebrate all of those landmark "shorts" that the Academy leaves behind.
"Design in particular is learning the importance of storytelling, and yet most designers’ experience of stories is quite shallow," Allen explains. "What we try to do at Short of the Week is expose audiences to a broader, fresher view of storytelling."
This broader view of storytelling includes four shorts that represent SOTW’s best of the year. They’re as brilliantly diverse as the entries to any high-brow film festival, ranging from The Eagleman Stag, an enchanting animation exploring life and death in which every detail was carved from foam with a scalpel, to Sunshine, a live-action documentary in which an ad man attempts to sell China on fast food. (I won’t spoil what "sunshine" means, but it’s fantastic.)
So, while I’m sure that most of us tuned into the Oscars last weekend—pretending we totally despise the handjob criticism while soaking it all up in the guiltiest of pleasing ways—there are about 40 minutes of movies over at SOTW that would love your sincere attention.