Film News: Hollyshorts Film Festival begins, adding a Fourth OSCAR®-qualifying Award

The Hollyshorts Film Festival is now in its 19th year and is known for being the catalyst for films to qualify for and go on to win OSCARS®. HollyShorts is devoted to showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe, advancing the careers of filmmakers through screenings, networking events, and various panels and forums. The festival showcases the top short films produced in 40 minutes or less. This year, the festival will take place in Hollywood from August 10 to 20, 2023.

This year, the Academy® has granted the festival its 4th OSCAR®-qualifying award for a Documentary short film. This accolade will join the other three top awards: Best Short Film Grand Prize, Best Short Animation, and Best Short Live Action.

Riz Ahmed won his first Academy® Award after his short film, THE LONG GOODBYE, won an OSCAR-qualifying award at the festival. Documentary shorts films have always been popular at the festival, with Academy® Award winners like Ben Proudfoot often showcasing their films. He and other documentarians can now qualify their films at HollyShorts if they win this coveted award.

There are various films in each of the categories. Below are some highlights from this festival:

Documentary: “How to Rig an Election: The Racist History of the 1876 Presidential Contest,” directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler, narrated by Tom Hanks, “They Came from All Over,” directed by Academy® Award winner Rayka Zehtabchi, OSCAR® winner Ben Proudfoot’s “Forgiving Johnny” and Jordan Matthew Horowitz’ “Jack and Sam” produced by Academy® Award winner Andrew Carlberg.

Live-action short film: Iain Softley’s “The Shepherd,” produced by Alfonso Cuarón and featuring John Travolta; Christopher Patrick Macken’s “For the Safety of Theo,” Executive Produced by Charlie Day, Jenn Shaw’s “Gaps,” produced by Queen Latifah, Bella Thorne’s “Paint Her Red,” Jorey Worb’s “Bite” starring Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars), “Shadow Brother Sunday” directed by and starring Alden Ehrenreich (Star Wars), Harry Holland’s “Last Call” starring Tom Holland and BAFTA Nominee Lindsay Duncan, Margaret Miller’s “Poof” starring Catherine Curtain, Academy® Award winner Chris Overton’s “In Too Deep” and Charles Whitcher’s “Mundo,” Executive Produced by Eva Longoria.

Animation short film: WB’s “Daffy in Wackyland,” directed by Max Winston and OSCAR® nominee Andrew Pierce Chesworth’s “The Brave Locomotive,” and Lauren Keke Palmer’s music video “Big Boss.”

Additional noteworthy selections include Karen Bryson MBE’s directorial debut “Monochromatic,” Kayla Abuda Galang’s “You Left Me on the Boulevard,” Lauren Finerman’s “Flower” produced by Misty Copeland, Lola Blanc’s “Pruning” starring Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale), Ethan Dolan and Grayson Dolan’s “Nothing Left to Give,” Conor Dooley’s “Gold and Mud” starring Ana Fabrega (Los Espookys) Rudy Martinez’s “Ham,” Oscar Boyson’s “Power Signal,” Michael Spiccia’s “I’m On Fire” starring Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos), Sue Zarco Kramer’s “Swipe NYC” starring Lisa Edelstein (House MD) and Bridget Moynahan (Blue Bloods), Marta Szymanek’s “Eden” produced by OSCAR® nominee Maciej Ślesicki and Stephanie Kaznocha’s “Confessions” starring Sister Alva (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Eve Sigall (Yellow Jackets).

To view the complete list of official selections, visit

HollyShorts in-person screenings will occur at the TLC Chinese Theatres, 6801 Hollywood Blvd. 3rd Level, Hollywood, CA, 90028, followed by the annual awards gala on August 20. This year’s hybrid celebration is available virtually through the official festival streaming platform BITPIX. For additional information and tickets, visit:

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