Five final live-action short nominees out of 137 qualified films are vying for an Oscar.
One frontrunner could be “Silent Nights,” a drama about a Danish woman and her Ghanaian immigrant boyfriend, from director Aske Bang and producer Kim Magnusson.
That’s because it marks the sixth nomination for Magnusson in the Live-Action Short category, which he has won twice. The first he shared in 1999 with “Brothers” screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen, for “Election Night.” The second he won more recently for “Helium” in 2013, directed by Anders Walter, who will helm the forthcoming “I Kill Giants,” an adaptation of a graphic novel starring Zoe Saldana and Imogen Poots. Clearly, Magnusson knows how to pick directors.
“Silent Nights” isn’t the only immigration story amongst the contenders; prolific French sound editor Selim Azzazi makes his directorial debut with “Ennemis Intérieurs,” which depicts a French police officer interrogating a French-Algerian man seeking naturalization during the Algerian civil war in the 1990s.
The other three nominees are the colorful “La Femme et le TGV” (starring French New Wave icon Jane Birkin, mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg, in the lead role), which will tug the heart strings of older Academy members, the poignant choir drama “Sing,” from London-based Hungarian director Kristof Deák, and Spanish director Juanjo Giménez’s “Timecode,” an elegant portrait of loneliness and connection.
Contenders (ranked in order of likelihood to win)
1. “Ennemis Intérieurs,” Sélim Azzazi, director (Qualia Films)
2. “Silent Nights,” Aske Bang, director, and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions)
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