Where to Watch the 2021 Oscar Nominees for Short Subject Documentary

The Academy Awards ceremony is fast approaching, and for fans who look forward to the star-studded occasion every year, it can’t come fast enough. In preparation for the Oscars, many film fans are looking to the movies that have been nominated in each category, catching up on all the critically-acclaimed flicks.

One hotly-contested category is Documentary (Short Subject), with five different films competing for gold. Those who want to watch all the nominated films prior to the big ceremony have plenty of options, with multiple streaming services offering up the various nominated flicks — with most of them under twenty minutes in length. 

Academy Awards (Oscars) Statuette
Academy Awards (Oscars) Statuettes | Andrew H. Walker / Staff

‘Do Not Split’ is a fan-favorite documentary

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An intense short documentary directed by Anders Hammer, Do Not Split focuses on some of the landmark events of the anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (anti-ELAB) movement in Hong Kong. Originally, the film was released at 20 minutes in length, with a more recent, 35-minute cut premiering a few months after the initial release. The Oscar-nominated documentary is available to watch on several streaming platforms online, including for free on Vimeo. 

‘Colette’ is an inspiring tale

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A historical documentary that follows one family’s struggle during the time of the French Resistance, Colette features real footage and interviews with former French Resistance member Colette Marin-Catherine. A must-watch for anyone who loves history, Colette clocks in at 24 minutes in length and is available to watch for free on the film’s website

Experience a family’s journey in ‘A Concerto is a Conversation’

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A 13-minute film that tells the story of a grandfather and the intense love that he has for his grandson, all set against the backdrop of classical music, A Concerto is a Conversation is the work of Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers. The short documentary is a sweet, gentle journey that anyone who loves music will find inspiring and entertaining. The Oscar-nominated film is available to watch for free via The New York Times

‘Hunger Ward’ is a moving must-see

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A heartwrenching documentary that details the plight of young war victims in Yemen, Hunger Ward is hard to watch but critically-acclaimed for the unflinching way it tackles tough issues. The third installment in a short film series by Skye Fitzgerald, Hunger Ward has been making waves in Hollywood, with A-listers like Mark Ruffalo speaking out in support of the film. Fans who want to watch the Oscar-nominated flick can head to the Pluto TV Documentaries Channel, a division of MTV Documentary Films. 

‘A Love Song for Latasha’ is a dreamlike documentary

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A 2019 biographical short film that found new life after it was released to Netflix in September 2020, A Love Song for Latasha tells the story of a young Black girl named Latasha, who was shot and killed by a convenience store owner in 1991. The 19-minute film is at times hard to watch, but always immersive and eye-opening. Fans who want to watch the gripping documentary can head to Netflix, where subscribers can watch it for free as part of their subscription. 

All of these short documentary films are perfect for a quick dive into another world — and while many of them feature tough subjects, all of them are well worth a watch.