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By Nashira Steiger

Awards season is here, “BarbieGate” has entered the lexicon, and if you’re excited about The Oscars®, The Independent Picture House has you covered. 

Right now, you can catch Oscar-nominated films like Poor Things, American Fiction, The Teachers’ Lounge, and The Zone of Interest, and coming up soon Perfect Days and a sneak preview of Robot Dreams before The Academy Awards. Then on Oscars® night, Sunday, March 10, come watch the ceremony at The Independent Picture House’s second annual Oscars® Viewing Party & Fundraiser.

And leading up to the big night, IPH will screen all the nominated short films from every category — animation, documentary and live action. It’s a rare opportunity to catch some truly groundbreaking short films on the big screen. 

Shorts are essential to the health of independent cinema, serving as vehicles for fringe or bourgeoning talent who are often doing experimental work. Some of today’s most celebrated directors, such as Sofia Coppola, Paul Thomas Anderson and Tim Burton, cut their teeth in short films. 

Among the Live Action Short Film nominees this year is one such director, who decided to re-embrace the genre with a series of Roald Dahl adaptations. It was, after all, back in 1994 when Wes Anderson stepped onto the scene with a short called Bottle Rocket, which he later adapted into a successful feature-length film. 

Since then, Anderson has received seven Oscar nominations. This year, The Academy granted Anderson his eighth nomination, and many are saying his time has finally come. 

Anderson’s film, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, is a masterpiece in a tight run time. Anderson’s meticulously styled films deserve to be seen on the big screen, and this could be your only shot to catch this one in a theater. 

The Documentary Short Film category also showcases some massive talent with films that radiate the visceral anxiety and precarious hope of humanity’s current moment. I was still wiping away tears as I shot off a dozen “You HAVE to watch this!” texts after viewing The Last Repair Shop. I also lost a small box of Kleenex to The Barber of Little Rock. 

You’ll find some of the most innovative independent-film work done this year in the nominated Animated Short Film category. These animated-shorts directors seem to take it ALL on — compulsory hijab, war, existential regret, the Holocaust — and serve it up in visually stunning films. The kind you have to see on a big screen to really appreciate. 

Many of these films aren’t even available to watch on streaming, so, don’t miss your chance to catch all the Oscar-nominated shorts at The Independent Picture House, starting February 16. 

Then, on March 10 is The Independent Picture House’s second annual Oscars® Viewing Party & Fundraiser. Last year’s inaugural event went over BIG, and this year’s celebration is shaping up to be even better. The party will feature live music from Queen City Jazz Group and comedy from Shameless Society Improv, along with trivia, games and silent-auction items ranging from Charlotte Ballet tickets to a round of golf at Quail Hollow Club. And you can even upgrade your experience by snagging one of the limited VIP tickets, which will get you in to an exclusive cocktail reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and conversation with local filmmakers and creatives. 

And don’t forget to enter the Oscar® ballot contest! Make your predictions and earn a chance to win a prize. 

The most important part: The fundraiser’s proceeds support The Independent Picture House — Charlotte’s only nonprofit community cinema — in its mission to educate, engage and enable the community through the power of film. 

To see Oscar-nominated films and shorts:


To join us at the Oscars® Viewing Party & Fundraiser:


Nashira Steiger is a creative professional living in Charlotte. You’ll often find her around NoDa, asking to pet other people’s dogs.
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