All of the shorts lack precursors that could point us in much of a direction. These categories mostly come down to word of mouth, the subject matter and if there might be a studio or famous figure behind one. In addition, professional award writers, who have access to these shorts, are good sources to look to.
For documentary short, Netflix is behind Heroin(e), so with them pushing the film and the subject matter the opioid crisis, it has enough to get it there. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, a film with a hell of a title, could get there, as could Edith+Eddie. For animated short, retired NBA star Kobe Bryant is at the center of Dear Basketball and with plenty of the voting body located in Los Angeles, home of the Lakers, that could push it past Pixar’s Lou — although Pixar can win this category even when they have a film that’s just about a cute bird and not much more, so don’t discount their entry or Garden Party, which is rather popular. In live action, the subject matter is what hints toward a winner, as DeKalb Elementary is about a school shooter and the current public focus on the Douglas High School shooting gives the short film plenty of power. If anything can take the category instead, it might be The Silent Child.
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Will win: Heroin(e)
Could win: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Will win: Dear Basketball
Could win: Lou
Live Action Short
The Eleven O’Clock
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us
My Nephew Emmett
Will win: DeKalb Elementary
Could win: The Silent Child
Featured image via Premium Films.