These predictions will be updated throughout the awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks. The 95th Oscars will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 and broadcast live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
IndieWire's previous Oscar predictions for this category and more can be seen here.
The Best Documentary Short category is a good time to pay attention.
One exciting side-effect of the recent documentary boom is that the contenders in this category are now more affordable than ever. Only 'How Do You Measure a Year? is currently working on a simple way to view it outside the Academy Screening Room (and the entire gamut of shorts nominees), but that's not a knock against it: he was nominated in the same category just last year for his short "When We Were Bullies."
"How Do You Measure a Year?" is a documentary that chronicles Rosenblatt's daughter Ella's life, showing footage of interviews she conducted with her on her birthday every year since she was two years old. One issue that might prevent the film from winning is that it uses a technology that millions have already seen in the film Vanity Fair shoots with Billie Eilish.
"The Martha Mitchell Effect" on Netflix is in a similar situation, juggling two well-known limited series that also retold how the Watergate scandal played out. "Gaslit" specifically had Julia Roberts play Mitchell, Nixon's attorney general's outspoken wife, but the film does not get as much recognition as one would expect. This documentary project may however be the definitive retelling of Mitchell's role, as it does a superb job of piecing together archive footage to provide a
"Stranger at the Gate" has recently hired activist Malala Yousafzai as its executive producer. The book, distributed by The New Yorker, appeals to both true crime lovers and those seeking something a little more relatable, as director Joshua Seftel weaves twists and turns into the story of a Marine's attempt to attack an Indiana mosque.
"Haulout," about a walrus beach, and "The Elephant Whisperers," about an animal sanctuary, both have pretty incredible natural sights. However, the films Academy members have chosen to watch in recent years, when voting for Best Documentary Short, are more human-focused.
Nominees are numbered in order of likelihood that they will win.
Contenders: "Stranger at the Gate" "The Martha Mitchell Effect" "How Do You Measure a Year?" "Haulout" "The Elephant Whisperers"