Oscar Short Documentary Race Presents Booming Art Form – Crypto News Aktuell in German
LOS ANGELES – When marine biologist Maxim Chakilev rips open the door of his ramshackle Siberian hut to find 100,000 walruses honking and panting in the Oscar-nominated short documentary Haulout, the effect is breathtakingly cinematic.
For almost two minutes, the screen is full of jostling animals, whose guttural snorts fill the soundtrack and put the viewer in the middle of an amazing natural spectacle.
The scene, the centerpiece of a 25-minute film about the impact of climate change on nature, illustrates how short documentaries have exploded as an art form – and why big guns like The New Yorker and Netflix are getting involved.
“Video is a very powerful medium, and right now it’s how a lot of people get their information about the world,” Soo-Jeong Kang, executive director of programming and development at The New Yorker, told AFP.
“Traditional media companies are increasingly recognizing this as both an opportunity to reach new audiences and a deep platform for storytelling.”
Produced by brother-sister team Maxim Arbugaev and Evgenia Arbugaeva, who lived in Chakilev’s rudimentary hut for three months, the almost language-free “Haulout” is just the kind of top-notch content that meshes with The New Yorker’s high-quality fiction and in-depth reporting, Kang said.
“It’s a pure cinematic experience where you don’t need a spoken word to know what this story is about…an extension of that intersection of art and great journalism.”
– Area –
“Haulout” competes for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film against four other nominees, and the breadth of these contenders demonstrates the breadth of a format that audiences are increasingly embracing.
New York stablemate Stranger at the Gate tells the story of a US military veteran whose tours have scarred him with hatred, but whose warm welcome at the mosque he was about to blow up reconnects him with his humanity. The short film is executive produced by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
“How do you measure a year?” brings together interviews filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt conducted each year with his daughter between the ages of two and 18.
Netflix’s The Elephant Whisperers is a light-hearted exploration of the love an Indian couple shares for the baby animals in their care.
The streamer’s second nominee in the category is “The Martha Mitchell Effect,” a curation of archive footage about a woman on the brink of the Watergate scandal.
Netflix’s competitors are just two of the numerous documentaries available on its platform – some of which are regularly among the most watched offerings.
– democratization –
Documentary films have been dominated for the past few decades by organizations such as the publicly funded British BBC or the American PBS – both organizations dedicated to didactics. But in recent years, the industry has shown its entertainment skills.
Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” and HBO’s “The Jinx” — real-life crime thrillers from 2015 — were instrumental in popularizing the format for the streaming age.
And such fast-moving must-see fare continues to come thick and fast — long before a jury found a South Carolina attorney guilty of killing his wife and son last week, Netflix said Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal was one of the biggest popular programs.
But the less obvious offerings also do well, as important themes — particularly in the areas of climate change and identity — resonate with viewers.
The New Yorker says it gets nearly 11 million monthly video views across its YouTube channel and newyorker.com, with documentaries topping the list in terms of both total views and average views per video.
This growing audience is increasingly reflected in the types of documentaries being made as improving technology lowers the barriers to entry and makes it possible for almost anyone to become a filmmaker.
“Because of the accessibility and affordability of editing software and high quality cameras in recent years … anyone who dreams of making a documentary now has reasonable access to the tools,” says Kang.
“It’s a democratization of this field that allows people from all walks of life to write a story about their experiences.”
For filmmakers like Arbugaeva, whose stunning cinematography highlights Haulout, this democratization is key to the authenticity and intent demanded of a good documentary.
“When local storytellers tell stories from their local area, it’s very personal,” she told AFP.
“You speak of your own heart and the heart of your community breaking.”
Source: Crypto News Deutsch