Final Oscars Predictions: Documentary Short – Timely Stories About Abortion Rights, Book Banning and Power of Music Occupies the Race Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands Viral Watch


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.

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2023 Oscars Predictions:
Best Documentary Short

Nai Nai WaiPo

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Weekly Commentary (Updated Jan. 22, 2024): Predicting the Oscars’ shorts categories can be tricky.
Three films seem to be standouts in the race so far and are expected to be nominated this year for Academy Awards: “The ABCs of Book Banning,” “Deciding Vote” and “The Last Repair Shop.”

Sheila Nevins’ directorial debut, “The ABCs of Book Banning,” which examines the impact of recent book bans in Florida, is a timely and early contender in the race. In addition to another political flick “Deciding Vote” from directors Robert J. Lyons and Jeremy Workman, looking at New York Assemblyman George Michaels.

With “The Last Repair Shop” from co-directors Kris Bowers (also in the discussion for composing the musical “The Color Purple”) and Oscar winner Ben Proudfoot, the film offers a hopeful look at the future that will never neglect art. Telling the story of four people whose instrument repair shop guarantees no young student is robbed of the ability to play music comes from the duo behind the Oscar-nominated “A Concerto is a Conversation.” Proudfoot won his statuette with the short “The Queen of Basketball” (2021).

Rounding out the top five are Netflix’s “Camp Courage” and Disney’s “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó.”

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

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

Listed producer credits are not final, and all releases are subject to change. The Academy ultimately determines the official nominees.


And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. The Last Repair Shop” (L.A. Times Studios/Searchlight Pictures) 
    Kris Bowers, Ben Proudfoot (directors, producers), Jeremy Lambert, Josh Rosenberg (producers)
  2. The ABCs of Book Banning” (MTV Documentary Films/Paramount+)
    Trish Adlesic, Nazenet Habtezghi (directors), Sheila Nevins (director, producer)
  3. Deciding Vote” (The New Yorker)
    Robert J. Lyons, Jeremy Workman (directors, producers), Melissa Jacobsen (producer)
  4. Camp Courage” (Netflix)
    Max Lowe (director, producer), Katu Chevigny, Marilyn Ness (producers)
  5. Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó” (Walt Disney Pictures)
    Sean Wang (director), Sam A. Davis (producer)

Next in Line


  1. The Barber of Little Rock” (Story Syndicate)
    John Hoffman, Christine Turner (directors, producers), Christina Avalos (producer)
  2. Last Song from Kabul” (Docsville Studios)
    Kevin Macdonald, Ruhi Hamid (directors), Katie Buchanan, Sophie Daniel (producers)
  3. Between Earth and Sky” (POV Shorts)
    Nalini Nadkarni (director, producer)
  4. Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games” (ESPN)
    Joe Brester, Michèle Stephenson (directors, producers), Marquis Daisy, Carolyn Hepburn, Adam Neuhaus (producers)
  5. Island in Between” (The New York Times Op-Docs)
    S. Leo Chiang (director, producer), Yulan Chang, Jean Tsien, Yorke Wu (producers)

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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