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Eight Shorts Make AMPAS Short List

By Tom White

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! The race for the Oscars has just begun! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the short list for the entries in the Documentary Short Subject category. Up to five of these films will be earn Oscar nominations, which will be announced Thursday, January 22, 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Voters from the Academy's Documentary Branch viewed this year's 31 eligible contenders and submitted their ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers for tabulation.

The eight films are listed below in alphabetical order:

The Conscience of Nhem En (Dir.: Stephen Okazaki)
David McCullough: Painting with Words (Dir.: Mark Herzog)
Downstream (Dir.: Leslie Iwerks)
The Final Inch (Dir.: Irene Taylor Brodsky)
Smile Pinki (Dir.: Megan Mylan)
Tongzhi in Love (Dir.: Ruby Yang)
Viva La Causa (Dirs.: Bill Brummel and Alonso Filomeno Mayo)
The Witness from the Balcony of Room 306 (Dir.: Adam Pertofsky)

Smile Pinki screened as part of IDA's DocuWeek Theatrical Documentary Showcase this past summer. For the trailer, click here; for the Q&A with director Megan Mylan, click here.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.