The Academy Awards take place on Sunday. Usually when people watch the Oscars, they’re either tuning in to the pre-show (where stars flaunt their red-carpet dresses) and the categories with the big-name nominees (so you can see their wacky acceptance speeches).
This year, though, I implore you to pay attention to an oft-ignored category: Documentary Short. It’s really difficult to preview the documentary shorts before the ceremony — unless you really seek them out — so people dub that category as the Oscar-pool tie-breaker. And this year, some of our neighbors’ works have been nominated.
The first, God Is the Bigger Elvis — directed by Tarrytown’s Rebecca Cammisa and produced by Scarsdale’s Julie Anderson — centers around Bethlehem, CT native Dolores Hart. A successful actress, Hart’s claim to fame was that she received Elvis Presley’s first on-screen kiss in the movie Loving You. Then, at age 23, she gave up the glamorous life to become a cloistered Benedictine nun. In the short, Hart — now known as Mother Prioress — takes the filmmakers around the Abbey where outsiders are normally not permitted.
The second local film to be nominated, Incident in New Baghdad, comes to us from Katonah resident (and Purchase College grad) James Spione. The film’s subject matter is decidedly heavier: it’s about the killing of two Reuters journalists and a number of other civilians by U.S. attack helicopters in 2007. Watch a clip of it here:
The Valley’s represented with two of the five nominees? Those aren’t bad odds for a single category!
That’s not all; we have similar chances to win with the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. There, Bedford resident Glenn Close is nominated for Albert Nobbs alongside Westchester neighbor Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). In northern Westchester, Joe Berlinger’s celebrating his Best Documentary Feature nomination for the much-buzzed-about Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, about the West Memphis Three. Last (but not least) is our representation in Best Adapted Screenplay; Scarsdale’s Aaron Sorkin is nominated for the script to Moneyball.
You can see the complete list of nominees here. Our fingers are crossed for all of our local nominees!