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Poster for 2023 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Documentary
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2023 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Documentary

Opens on February 17

Run Time: 165 min.

Celebrate Awards Season at Gateway Film Center

As part of Awards Season at the Film Center each year, we are thrilled to present the Academy Award-nominated shorts program featuring the year’s most spectacular Animation, Documentary, and Live Action short films.

The 2023 Awards Gala at Gateway Film Center is on Sunday, March 12! Join us as we raise our glasses with our community in celebration of the year’s best films and most important filmmakers. Register here.

Documentary  Short Film – The Nominees

From 98 total qualifying films, these five are nominees in the Documentary Short Film category for the 95th Academy Awards. Announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday, March 12, the winner is The Elephant Whisperers from Director Kartiki Gonsalves.


How Do You Measure a Year?

Director Jay Rosenblatt

For 17 years, filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt filmed his daughter Ella on her birthday in the same spot, asking the same questions. What results is a unique chance to watch time, to see a young woman come into focus physically, mentally and emotionally.

“This was one of the most enjoyable films to make and especially, to edit. It helps to totally love the subject.”

Country: United States
Language: English
Runtime: 29 min

Winner, Best Documentary Short Film

The Elephant Whisperers

Director Kartiki Gonsalves

The Elephant Whisperers follows an indigenous couple as they fall in love with Raghu, an orphaned elephant given into their care, and tirelessly work to ensure his recovery and survival.

“This film was a labor of love for me. I fell in love with Raghu when I first met him, and I wished to record and share the beautiful bond that I saw growing between him and Bomman and Bellie. It is such a heartwarming story of love and survival in these increasingly dark times.”

Country: India
Language: Tamil
Runtime: 41 min

Stranger at the Gate

Director Joshua Seftel

After 25 years of service, a US Marine filled with hatred for Muslims plots to bomb an Indiana mosque. When he comes face to face with the immigrants he seeks to kill, the story takes a shocking twist toward compassion, grace, and forgiveness.

“This film is a powerful true story of forgiveness and redemption. I hope the film challenges every viewer to question their assumptions and show kindness to everyone they meet.”

Country: United States
Language: English
Runtime: 30 min


Directors Evgenia Arbugaeva, Maxim Arbugaev

On a remote coast of the Siberian Arctic in a wind-battered hut, a lonely man waits to witness an ancient gathering. But warming seas and rising temperatures bring an unexpected change, and he soon finds himself overwhelmed.

“This film is a report on the consequences of global warming in the Arctic and, at the same time, a tribute to the stubborn dedication of scientists who work in these lands with a great personal commitment.”

Country: United Kingdom
Language: Russian
Runtime: 25 min

The Martha Mitchell Effect

Directors Anne Alvergue, Debra McClutchy

She was once as famous as Jackie O. And then she tried to take down a President. The Martha Mitchell Effect is an archival documentary portrait of the unlikeliest of whistleblowers: Martha Mitchell, a Republican cabinet wife who was gaslighted by the Nixon Administration to keep her quiet. It offers a female gaze on Watergate through the voice of the woman herself.

“One reason is that the gaslighting campaign against her worked. She is truly a hidden figure of the Watergate era. It seemed like the perfect time to resurrect her story and flip the script on the Watergate saga, affording her rightful place in history.”

Country: United States
Language: English
Runtime: 39 min

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