Almost forgotten in the media hype about the Academy Awards every year are the Oscar nominated shorts films.
Each of the five nominated live action short films is under twenty minutes long. They're not Hollywood projects; instead, they're low budget, independent films made by people who clearly love what they do.
And while I wouldn't call any of the films great, every one of them is worth watching.
My favorite of the five is called WISH 142. The main character is a 16 year old boy with terminal cancer.
When an organization very much like the "Make a Wish Foundation" offers him a last big wish, he says he wants to lose his virginity before he dies.
That may seem like an outrageous idea for a film, but "Wish 143" is nothing if not compassionate.
NAWEWE is set in Central Africa where Hutus and Tutsis are at war. When a van is stopped by rebel Hutus, the lives of everyone in it are at risk because nobody can really tell who is Hutu and who is Tutsi.
It's the kind of tense highly emotional standoff that has happened too many times during Africa's civil wars.
THE CRUSH is the enjoyable story of an eight year old boy who falls in love with his second grade teacher. He may be cute, but he's also serious, and what he does will surprise you.
THE CONFESSION is about a young Catholic boy who is about to make his first confession. The problem is he has nothing to confess until his friend comes up with a big idea that turns tragic.
The most entertaining of the short films is called GOD OF LOVE. The main character is a singer/dart thrower. Any woman hit by one of his darts is instantly smitten with him. This black and white comedy reminded me of Woody Allen's early films.
The Oscar nominated shorts--both live action and animated--are playing in two separate programs at Kahala Mall. On February 22nd, they'll all be available on Itunes.