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Oscars: Documentary Short – Most Competitive Race of the Shorts Could Yield Surprising Winner

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

More from Variety

OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

2023 Oscars Predictions:
Best Documentary Short

The Barber of Little Rock
The Barber of Little Rock

Weekly Commentary (Updated Feb. 22, 2024): More to come.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.


And the Nominees Are:


  1. The Last Repair Shop” (L.A. Times Studios/Searchlight Pictures) 
    Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers

  2. The ABCs of Book Banning” (MTV Documentary Films/Paramount+)
    Sheila Nevins and Trish Adlesic

  3. Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Sean Wang and Sam Davis

  4. The Barber of Little Rock” (Story Syndicate)
    John Hoffman and Christine Turner

  5. Island in Between” (The New York Times Op-Docs)
    S. Leo Chiang and Jean Tsien


All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized) **


  • “The ABCs of Book Banning”

  • “The Barber of Little Rock”

  • “Bear”

  • “Between Earth & Sky”

  • “Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games”

  • “Camp Courage”

  • “Deciding Vote”

  • “How We Get Free”

  • “If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis”

  • “Island in Between”

  • “The Last Repair Shop”

  • “Last Song from Kabul”

  • “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó”

  • “Oasis”

  • “Wings of Dust”

2022 category winner: “The Elephant Whisperers” (Netflix) — Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga

Oscars Predictions Categories

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | BEST ACTOR | BEST ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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