Oscar statuettes (Tim Boyle / Getty Images )
The Oscar race is narrowing -- for one category at least. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its shortlist in the documentary short subject contest Thursday morning, and the group includes films as diverse as "The Education of Mohammad Hussein," which examines what it's like to come of age as a Muslim in America post-9/11, and "Kings Point," about a retirement community outside Palm Beach, Fla.
The other six titles center mainly on the disenfranchised, bringing to light stories of people often left in the dark.
"Inocente" is a story of a 15-year-old homeless immigrant determined to be an artist. "Paraiso" centers on three Mexican immigrants who wash the windows of the tallest high rises in Chicago. "Redemption" is about the men and women of New York City who make their living by redeeming bottles and cans from curbs, trash bins and apartment complexes.
Two other films center on women, beauty and relationships: "The Perfect Fit," a close-to-silent film about five women who meet by chance inside a vintage clothing store, and "Mondays at Racine," about a hair salon in Long Island that opens its doors to female cancer patients one day a month.
"Open Heart," the one shortlisted documentary short filmed outside the U.S., follows eight children on a journey to get high-risk surgery at Africa’s only high-tech, free-of-charge heart surgery hospital.
Last year, "Saving Face," won the Oscar for documentary short. The film followed British plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who returns to his homeland of Pakistan to help victims of acid burns.
Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 10. The ceremony will take place Feb. 24.
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