Oscars Predictions: Best Live Action Short – ‘Two Distant Strangers’ Coming Between Pedro Almodovar and Oscar Isaac

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

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UPDATED: Feb. 25, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: There seems to be a strong three films at the top Pedro Almodóvar’s “The Human Voice” (with Tilda Swinton), Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe’s “Two Distant Strangers” (with Joey Bada$$) and Elvira Lind’s “The Letter Room” (with Oscar Isaac). There’s still some fluidity to the rest of the contenders that may have support from branch members. Keep an eye out for surprises.

Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar

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Image from “Two Distant Strangers”


  1. "The Human Voice" (Sony Pictures Classics)

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    PRODUCERS: Agustín Almodóvar, Esther Garcia
    DIRECTOR: Pedro Almodóvar
    SYNOPSIS: A woman watches time passing next to the suitcases of her ex-lover (who is supposed to come pick them up, but never arrives) and a restless dog who doesn't understand that his master has abandoned him. Two living beings facing abandonment.
    STARRING: Tilda Swinton, Agustín Almodóvar, Pablo Almodóvar, Miguel Almodóvar

  2. "Two Distant Strangers" (Dirty Robber, NowThis)

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    PRODUCERS: Michael Rose, Martin Pope
    DIRECTOR: Travon Free, Martin Desmond Roe
    SYNOPSIS: Cartoonist Carter James' repeated attempts to get home to his dog are thwarted by a recurring deadly encounter that forces him to re-live the same awful day over and over again.
    STARRING: Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard, Zaria

  3. "The Letter Room" (Salaud Morisset, Topic)

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    PRODUCERS: Sofia Sondervan
    DIRECTOR: Elvira Lind
    SYNOPSIS: When a corrections officer is transferred to the letter room, he soon finds himself enmeshed in a prisoner's deeply private life.
    STARRING:Oscar Isaac, Alia Shawkat, Brian Petsos

  4. "Da Yie" (Salaud Morisset)

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    PRODUCERS: Chingiz Karibekov, Anthony Nti
    DIRECTOR: Anthony Nti
    SYNOPSIS: Young Matilda and Prince are taken on a life-changing trip by a stranger. Kids, gangsters and Ghana's vibrant coast as you've never seen them.
    STARRING:Prince Agortey, Matilda Enchil, Goua Robert Grovogui

  5. "Feeling Through" (Doug Roland Films)

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    PRODUCERS: Luis Augusto Figueroa, Phil Newsom, Doug Roland, Sue Ruzenski
    DIRECTOR: Doug Roland
    SYNOPSIS: A late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen-in-need and a DeafBlind man.
    STARRING: Steven Prescod, Robert Tarango, Francisco Burgos

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Image from “Bittu”


  1. "Bittu" (No U.S. Distribution)

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    PRODUCERS: Karishma Dube, Shreya Dev Dube, Mary Evangelista
    DIRECTOR: Karishma Dube
    SYNOPSIS: A close friendship between two girls is eclipsed by an accidental poisoning at school.
    STARRING: Rani Kumari, Renu Kumari, Saurabh Saraswat

  2. "White Eye" (No U.S. Distribution)

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    PRODUCERS: Shira Hochman, Kobi Mizrahi
    DIRECTOR: Tomer Shushan
    SYNOPSIS: A man finds his stolen bicycle, which now belongs to a stranger. While attempting to retrieve it, he struggles to remain human.
    STARRING: Daniel Gad, Dawit Tekelaeb, Reut Akkerman

  3. "The Kicksled Choir" (Fjordic Film)

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    PRODUCERS: Julia T. Andersen
    DIRECTOR: Torfinn Iversen
    SYNOPSIS: Ten-year-old Gabriel dreams of joining the Kicksled Choir, a local caroling group known for raising donations for the refugees in his community. But Gabriel faces an unexpected hurdle after he witnesses his father's alarming aggression towards the very people he wants to help.
    STARRING: Kahled Saleh Ankila, Nicholai Evans, Jarle Gundersen

  4. "The Present" (Philistine Films)

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    PRODUCERS: Ossama Bawardi
    DIRECTOR: Farah Nabulsi
    SYNOPSIS: On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?
    STARRING: Saleh Bakri, Mariam Kanj, Mariam Basha

  5. "The Van" (Origine Films)

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    PRODUCERS: Olivier Berlemont, Émilie Dubois
    DIRECTOR: Erenik Beqiri
    SYNOPSIS: The Van stops, the doors open, and Ben comes out alive. Another few fights and he will be able to leave Albania. He still hopes his father will leave with him.
    STARRING: Phénix Brossard, Arben Bajraktaraj, Afrim Muçaj


The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 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.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television across drama and comedy or musical categories. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” are next in line with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” has the record for most nominations received by a film with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” share the record for receiving the most nominations and not winning a single award at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

  • The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021

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