"Dcera" (Daughter) - Czech Republic - The story of a girl's relationship with her father. It had a strange animation style kinda like stop-motion but not. It was quite dark, but I still kinda liked it. It gets points for style, but it was just not my cup of tea.
"Hair Love" - USA - If Hollywood wants "woke" points, this will win. A young black girl wants her hair done with the help of her father. It then goes for even more heartstring points by making her mother have cancer, and thus, has no hair. I gave a thumbs down to "Dear Basketball" last year and it won. So I'll just say that if it wins, I won't be surprised.
"Kitbull" - USA - And the furry award goes to...this film! What's not to love about a stray kitten who makes friends with an abused pit bull. The ending will have your eyes watering.
"Memorable" - France - This one really surprised me in that I would give it the award. It's the story of an old artist with Alzheimer's and his wife who is taking care of him. It's a touching story and the animation is unique. It just really pushed all the right buttons with me.
"Sister" - China - It started out as a fun tale about a boy growing up with a little sister. It devolved into a political statement about China's "one child" policy. It must be a huge issue over there, but it doesn't necessarily translate into a good short film.
Of course there were a few honorable mentions:
"Henrietta Bulkowski" - A woman with a hunched back dreams of flying so she rebuilds a crashed plane. It turn out her hunched back contains wings. Yeah. Kinda weird.
"The Bird and The Whale" - A young whale makes friends with a caged bird marooned after a ship wreck. Cute, then sad, then uplifting tale.
"Hors Piste" - A couple of daring search-and-rescue pilots help an injured skier with hilarious consequences. This one was good for a laugh.
"Maestro" - Lots of furry points for this one. A bird sings a song with the help of its forest friends. I loved it! It packed a lot of fun in less than 2 minutes. WATCH IT!