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 are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Jan. 19, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Animated Short

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: Filmmaking legend J.J. Abrams has 10 Emmy nominations and two wins (for directing and outstanding drama series for the first season of “Lost” in 2005), but he’s never been nominated for an Oscar. That could all change on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Abrams is one of the producers of Apple’s “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” along with Matthew Freud and Cara Speller, and if nominated, it would be his first career nod despite being a stapled voice in Hollywood for over two decades.

The closest Abrams had come was during the first year of the Academy expanding the best picture lineup to 10. Abrams was a credited producer on “Star Trek” (2009), which nearly missed the lineup. Some would argue he was also close with “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015), which was during the sliding scale era.

As always, it isn’t easy to gauge how the shorts will go.

There’s plenty of buzz surrounding “New Moon,” a beautiful collaboration between recent Emmy winner Colman Domingo (guest actor in a drama for “Euphoria”) and his husband Raul Domingo. The couple serve as writers and producers on the project, while Raul Domingo co-directs alongside Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars.

Over a dozen married couples have been nominated for Academy Awards in the same year. The list begins with Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, who were both nominated in best actor and actress in 1932 for “The Guardsman.” Most recently, that roster includes Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz, nominated for “Being the Ricardos” and “Parallel Mothers” in 2021. This year, if “New Moon” is among the five films given the nod the Domingo couple will become the first same-sex married couple ever nominated in any category.

Coming off Riz Ahmed winning live action short last year after being nominated for “Sound of Metal” (2020), stars are utilizing the shorter forms of cinema to explore their creativity behind the camera. One of the finest Afro-Latinos in the game, Colman Domingo has kept one foot in the director’s chair throughout his career, whether it’s on TV with AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” or most notably in the theater with over a dozen credits for various plays, “New Moon” could offer the bridge to a new level of filmmaking for the artist.

NOTE: All credited nominees are ultimately determined by the Academy.

You can read the final Variety Awards Circuit column before nominations here. Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective. To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.

See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.


And The Predicted Nominees Are:
RankNameDirector(s) and Producer(s)Distributor(s)
1“New Moon”Raul Domingo (director, producer), Colman Domingo (producer), Jérémie Balais, Jeffig Le Bars (directors)Edith Productions
An imaginative surrealist journey of young Jay Jay and his mother Edie as their inner city dreams are illuminated by the new moon a in a backyard in West Philadelphia.
2“The Flying Sailor”Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis (directors), David Christensen (producer)National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Inspired by true events, the highly anticipated new film by Oscar-nominated duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis is a meditation on a sailor’s unexpected voyage.
3“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”Peter Baynton, Charlie Mackesy (directors), J.J. Abrams, Matthew Freud, Cara Speller (producers)Apple TV+
Follows a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse, as they create an unexpected friendship and travel together in the boy’s search for home.
4“Save Ralph”Spencer Susser (director, producer), Lisa Hill, Jeff Vespa (producers)Blue-Tongue Films
Ralph, a bunny being interviewed for a documentary, goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab.
5“Ice Merchants”João Gonzalez (director), Bruno Caetano, Michael Proenca (producers)Curtas Metragens CRL / Agência – Portuguese Short Film Agency
Every day, a father and his son jump with a parachute from their vertiginous cold house, attached to a cliff, to go to the village on the ground, far away where they sell the ice they produce daily.
Next in Line
6“More Than I Want to Remember”Amy Bench (director, producer), Carolyn Merriman, Mugeni Ornella (producers)MTV Documentary Films
One night at her home in southeastern Congo, 14-year-old Mugeni awakes to the sounds of bombs. As her family scatters to the surrounding forests to save themselves, Mugeni finds herself completely alone. From there, she sets out on a remarkable solo journey across the globe, determined to reunite with her lost loved ones and lift up the Banyamulenge people.
7“Steakhouse”Spela Cadez (director), Tina Smrekar (producer)The Animation Showcase
The steak has been marinating for a few days now. The pan is heated. Franc’s stomach is rumbling. But Liza’s co-workers surprise her with a birthday party. Will she be home on time?
8“An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It”
Lachlan Pendragon (director), Donna Hamilton (producer)Griffith Film School
A young office worker uncovers the flaws in his stop-motion universe with the help of a mysterious talking ostrich.
9“My Year of Dicks”Sara Gunnarsdóttir (director)The Animation Showcase
Pam tries very hard to lose her virginity and always searches for “the one”. She’s not alone, her best friends are with her.
10“It’s Nice in Here”Robert-Jonathan Koeyers (director), Richard Valk (producer)SND Films
A fragmented portrait of a moment seen through the subjective memories of a young Black girl, Imani, and a rookie police officer, David, who both have different recollections of the same fateful moment that will alter their lives forever.
Also In Contention
“Black Slide”Uri LotanThe Animation Showcase
“The Debutante”Elizabeth HobbsAnimate Projects Limited
“The Garbage Man”Laura GonçalvesBando à Parte
“Passenger”Juan Pablo ZaramellaJPZtudio
“Sierra”Sander JoonThe Criterion Channel

2023 Academy Awards Predictions


The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on ABC on Sunday, March 12, 2022.

2022 category winner: “The Windshield Wiper” (The Animation Showcase) – Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sánchez

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