Ten Meter Tower makes it to Academy Award shortlist

As with the recent shortlist of 10 Animated Shorts, the newest shortlist of Documentary Shorts announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is heavily dominated by North American fare.

Swedish film Ten Meter Tower [Hopptornet] (Dirs. Axel Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck) is one of the few European films to make it to the list and – given it's immense popularity over the past two years – has to be considered one of the favourites. First premiering at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, the film has won a slew of awards at the likes of Clermont-Ferrand and Glasgow and screened at Sundance, Palm Springs and Hong Kong. The film was also a popular choice in the 2016 Cineuropa Shorts Best European Shorts of the Year.

The film focuses on the titular tower, a 10-meter high diving board, as people contemplate whether they can jump off. Funny and poignant in equal measure, the film is a testament to both human beings overcoming their fear and the ways in which they rationalise their decisions.

Also in the list is Norway's Kayayo, The Living Shopping Baskets (Dir. Mari Bakke Riise). In Ghana, 10,000 girls from the ages of 6 work as real life shopping baskets - called Kayayo - carrying heavy loads on their head. The film follows Bamunu, an 8-year old girl who hasn’t seen her family since she was sent away from home two years ago to work as a Kayayo to support her family.

The full shortlist for Best Documentary Short is:

Alone (Dir. Garrett Bradley, US)
Edith+Eddie (Dir. Laura Checkoway, US)
Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (Dir. Frank Stiefel, US)
Heroin(e) (Dir. Elaine McMillion, US)
Kayayo – The Living Shopping Baskets (Dir. (Dir. Mari Bakke Riise, Norway)
Knife Skills (Dir. Thomas Lennon, US)
116 Cameras (Dir. Davina Pardo, US/UK)
Ram Dass, Going Home (Dir, Derek Peck, US)
Ten Meter Tower (Dirs. Axel Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck, Sweden)
Traffic Stop (Dir. Kate Davis, US)

Five of these films will end up being nominated for an Academy Award. Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

06 December 2017, by Laurence Boyce