Best Animated Short
Will Win - The Dam Keeper
Could Win - Feast or Me and My Moulton
Should Win - The Dam Keeper
Commentary - Feast is the Disney Animated Short this year, so a lot of pundits are picking it based on the popular vote theory. I am going to go in a different direction, because last year, the populist vote theory (that because voting was opened up to the whole membership, then the big studio Disney short would have the most exposure) did not work out in my favor. It turns out that if these voters don't actually care enough about the category, or haven't taken the time to watch them, then they probably don't vote in those categories. Last year proved that most likely the majority of people who voted in the short categories were basically the same group that voted on them in the past. So history tells us that something like The Dam Keeper will appeal more to that core block of voters. Me and My Moulton is also a possibility, but I think that the pundits will be defied once again, and that The Dam Keeper, my personal favorite of the bunch, will prevail.
Best Documentary Short
Will Win - Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Could Win - Joanna
Should Win - Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Commentary - With all the hype surrounding American Sniper, the one conversation that should have come out of that film is being put on the back burner. Of course, I am speaking of the struggles that veterans face when they return home, and the struggles that their families and friends face as well. Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 not only documents the struggles of veterans, but also places a spotlight on the workers behind the scenes of the hotline who talk to and counsel these struggling heroes. Its next competition Joanna is a passionate and heartfelt doc that would be a worthy winner, and will pull the heartstrings of many voters, but Crisis Hotline is emotional as well, and is also incredibly timely. That can be a powerful combination.
Best Live Action Short
Will Win - The Phone Call
Could Win - Boogaloo and Graham
Should Win - The Phone Call
Commentary - I love Oscar-nominee Sally Hawkins, and she is great in The Phone Call, the film I think has the best shot at winning the prize here. It also features Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent. They bring a heightened awareness, and a breadth and depth of talent to this fantastic short. It is also deals with some serious issues, not that different from the ones dealt with in Crisis Hotline. It also is hard to watch at points, which may work against it, especially with the slight, but lighthearted Boogaloo and Graham. It did win the BAFTA this Sunday for British Short film, and in a race with few precursors that is a big one. I'm honestly not sure which way the voters will go, but I will go with heavyweight versus the lightweight.