"In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution," a documentary short about the revolution in Egypt, is one of eight short docs that have made the Academy's shortlist in the Documentary Short category, the Academy announced on Thursday.
Also on the list of typically serious, issue-oriented doc shorts are films about the civil rights movement, the conflict in Iraq and the controversial proposed pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.
The directors of several of the shorts have previously been nominated for Oscars. Leslie Iwerks ("Pipe Dreams") was nominated for the short "Recycled Life" in 2006, while Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill ("In Tahrir Square") were nominated in the same category for 2009's "China's Unnatural Disaster."
In the Documentary Feature category, Lucy Walker ("The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom") received a nomination last year for "Waste Land," while the late Gail Dolgin (whose final film is the shortlisted "The Barber of Birmingham," above) was nominated for 2002's "Daughter From Danang."
There was no overlap between the eight shortlisted films and the 11 films shortlisted on Tuesday by the Cinema Eye Honors in the documentary short field.
Volunteers from the Documentary Branch of the Academy branch viewed eligible films on DVD screeners, and used an averaged score system to produce the shortlist.
A second round of voting, also conducted via DVD screeners, will produce a slate of three to five nominees.
To be eligible, films must be less than 40 minutes in length and must play for one week in either Los Angeles County or the Borough of Manhattan in New York. Typically, voters gravitate toward issue-oriented films, and for films that approach the upper limit of the time restriction.
The shortlisted films, with production companies:
"The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement," Purposeful Productions, Inc.
"God Is the Bigger Elvis," Documentress Films
"In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution," Downtown Docs
"Incident in New Baghdad," Morninglight Films
"Pipe Dreams," Leslie Iwerks Productions
"Saving Face," Milkhaus/Jungefilm
"The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom," Supply & Demand Integrated