Oscars Predictions: Best Live Action Short – ‘Two Distant Strangers’ Hits Home With the George Floyd Trial

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.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE



UPDATED: Apr. 21, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: The race for live action short is much closer, with “Feeling Through” and “Two Distant Strangers” both having their admirers. But given that the Derek Chauvin trial over George Floyd’s killing took place in the middle of voting, I’m predicting a victory for “Two Distant Strangers,” but not by much.

Will win: “Two Distant Strangers” – Travon Free, Martin Desmond Roe
Could win: “Feeling Through”
Should win: “Two Distant Strangers”
Should have been here: “The Human Voice”

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


  1. "Two Distant Strangers" (Dirty Robber, NowThis)
    Lazy loaded image

    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

  2. "Feeling Through" (Doug Roland Films)
    Lazy loaded image

    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

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

    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. "The Present" (Philistine Films)
    Lazy loaded image

    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. "White Eye" (EROIN CORP)
    Lazy loaded image

    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


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