2016 Oscar Short Docs

The 2017 Oscar Nominated Short Documentaries

Program A, 5:00 PM         Program B, 8:00 PM

Program B, 3:00 PM         Program A, 6:00 PM



Made in the USA and around the world, the 2017 Oscar Short Docs comprise a strong slate. A common bond, onscreen and behind the camera, are people who care about others, lend a hand and shine a light on universal themes including love, war, healthcare, immigration, racism and injustice.

A coast guard captain braves rough seas to rescue refugees.
Doctors and nurses help patients and their families understand and deal with end-of-life decisions.
Everyday people volunteer to rescue bombing victims in Aleppo.
Music connects a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor and a 12-year-old Bronx school girl.
An architect in Canada contests racial injustice and a police shooting a thousand miles away in the USA.
A young girl survives disaster and is welcomed to a new school, new country, new life.

Join us for movies with meaning and heart that take you places you haven't been, touching your mind and emotions.

CWC's annual event is the only way to see these award-winning films on the big screen at one time, in one place.


Screening in the beautiful, newly renovated Memorial Hall, OTR, 1225 Elm Street, Cincinnati 45202. Map and Parking Info

For your comfort and convenience, the Short Docs are divided into two distinct Programs, with the opportunity to enjoy food, beverage and conversation in Memorial Hall between sessions.

Single tickets for each program are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Combo (package) tickets for both programs A & B are the best value — $18 in advance and $22 at the door.   GET TICKETS

Food will return to the Shorts events this year, provided by Coffee Emporium, featuring entrees, salads and desserts by the plate, plus espresso drinks. Memorial Hall will provide multiple bars and beverage stations and CWC will do the popcorn – bring an appetite!

2017 Oscar Short Doc Discussion Leaders

Sat, Feb 11 5:00 PM, repeats Sun, Feb 12, 6:00 PM
Total Run Time approximately 100 minutes.
Program sequence subject to change.

Extremis   Oscar Nominee     Trailer
Dan Krauss, 2016, USA, 24 min.

Quality of life, palliative measures and end of life decisions are prominent issues on American's healthcare radar as our population ages. Somewhere between love and fear, science and faith, lies the ultimate choice.

Dr. Jessica Zitter leads a highly skilled palliative care team helping terminal patients prepare to die. Compassionate and supportive, they work to guide patients and their families toward the realization that there is often no realistic chance of recovery. EXTREMIS is a moving and thought provoking examination of the difficult questions about quality of life and when it's time to stop treatment.

4.1 Miles   Oscar Nominee     Trailer
Daphine Matziarki, 2016, USA/Greece, 21 min.

A coast guard captain on the Greek island of Lesbos is suddenly tasked with saving thousands of Syrian refugees from drowning at sea. Only 4.1 miles from the Turkish coast, the sea is teeming with terrified adults and small children packed on flimsy, dangerous boats and the sailors do what they can to save lives.

Frame 394   bonus film    Trailer
Rich Williamson & Shasha Nakhai, 2016, Canada, 30 min.

In the Cincinnati murder trial of Ray Tensing, the prosecutor's office conducted a frame-by-frame analysis of police body cam footage. In FRAME 394, Canadian architect Daniel Voshart performs a similar analysis of cell phone footage from the high-profile case of Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott in Charleston S.C. The entire incident was caught on camera and Voshart embarks upon a journey of social justice. But, as his research and analysis unfolds, elements of nuance and ambiguity come into play.

Joe's Violin   Oscar Nominee     Trailer
Kahane Cooper, 2016, USA, 24 min.

In this heart-warming, award-winning short doc, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor donates his violin of 70 years to a local instrument drive, creating a friendship and changing the life of 12-year-old Bronx schoolgirl Brianna Perez, showing how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times and how a small act can have a great and lasting impact.

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Sat, Feb 11 8:00 PM, repeats Sun, Feb 12, 3:00 PM
Total Run Time approximately 100 minutes.
Program sequence subject to change.

Syria The White Helmets   Oscar Nominee  Trailer
Orlando von Einsiedel, 2016, USA/Syria, 41 min.

NPR Review          WSJ Story

Third-world first responders, in Aleppo and elsewhere, are poorly equipped and receive scant, if any, training. They are ordinary people — shopkeepers, teachers, accountants, students — performing extraordinary acts. At tremendous risk, the all-volunteer "White Helmets" group searches for survivors among the carnage as the airstrikes continue and the death toll rises.
130 White Helmet members have perished on duty. But, over five years the Syrian Civil Defense group has saved roughly 60,000 lives, fueling the hope that humanity can survive.

Watani: My Homeland   Oscar nominee  
Marcel Mettelsiefen, 2016, UK/Germany, 40 min.

Told through the eyes of incredibly resilient children, this is the story of Sara, siblings Farah, Helen and Mohammed and mother Hala as they leave Aleppo and settle in a small German town.
Escaping the chaos and terror of their war torn homeland becomes a catalyst for a different kind of challenge – to understand the past and accept the present, to adapt to a new life, to hold on to hope, and to cherish the idea of belonging to a country not devastated by war.

Close Ties   bonus film   Trailer
Zofia Kowalewska, 2016, Poland, 18 min.

Using humor and irony, CLOSE TIES examines what it takes to makes a marriage survive. The filmmaker's grandparents Barbara and Zdzislaw are soon to celebrate their forty-fifth anniversary. In spite of everyday bickering, money problems, past separation and infidelity, their relationship endures.

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Saturday, Feb 11:    Melissa Godoy & John Lane

Sunday, Feb 12:    John Alberti & Andrea Kornbluh

John Alberti

John Alberti Dr. John Alberti has taught at Northern Kentucky University for twenty-five years, with focus on the relationship between American literature and popular culture as evidenced in cinema, television and music.

He is currently Director of the Cinema Studies Program, Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies in English at NKU, and has been instrumental in bringing the Festival of New French Films to campus in recent years.

John is a graduate of the University of Southern California (BA, English, 1981) and UCLA (MA, English 1984 and Ph.D., English, 1989). He recently authored Screen Ages: A Survey of American Cinema, and his current projects include work on gender in American cinema and television; writing in the digital age; and the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter series.

Melissa Godoy

Filmmaker Melissa Godoy Winner of two regional Emmy Awards, Melissa Godoy is an independent filmmaker. Her programs have aired on public television stations nationwide, and screened locally at events and exhibits at Cincinnati World Cinema, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Cincinnati Ballet.

In 2013, she was awarded a Cincinnati Arts Ambassador fellowship to create The Art Carvers of Music Hall, about the effort to conserve historically significant hidden treasure in Music Hall and celebrate the women artisans involved.

Melissa studied Theatre and Creative Writing for the Media at Northwestern University and she shares her love of filmmaking as an Artist in Residence with the Ohio Arts Council's Arts Learning Program and as a media instructor at Cincinnati State. She is currently in production on a couple of narrative feature documentaries - one set in Cincinnati, and the other in Wisconsin.

Andrea Kornbluh

Andrea Kornbluh Andrea Tuttle Kornbluh, PhD., Professor Emerita of History and Women's Studies at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, has been involved in the production and exhibition of independent film and video for more than four decades. While at UC, she founded and directed the decade- long Cincinnati Women's Film Festival.

Andrea has served as research director for a number of nationally distributed prize-winning documentaries including The Other Side of the Fence: Conversations with a Female Fundamentalist; Pregnant But Equal: The Fight for Maternity Benefits; and Degrees of Shame – Adjunct Faculty: Migrant Workers of the Information Economy.

Dr. Kornbluh has written about Cincinnati African-American history, public recreation, women's clubs and public parks. A native of California and a graduate of Antioch College she moved to Cincinnati in 1972 with the film collective Ohio Newsreel.

John Lane

John Lane With prior experience in business and the military, John began his teaching career in Minnesota in 1999, focusing on US and World History, Military History and Current Events & Issues. In 2003 he joined the faculty at Covington Latin School, a co-educational, Catholic, accelerated, college preparatory high school for academically talented students in the tri-state area.

John currently serves as the History Department Chair with teaching responsibilities including AP US History, AP American Government & Politics, AP Modern European History, Western Civilization, Economics & Comparative Politics.

Mr. Lane received a BS in Secondary Education from Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota; a BA in History, University of Cincinnati, and his MA in History from Northern Kentucky University. He is active in the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, various community and Church activities and has a passion for documentary films.