Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Academy Award for Live-Action Short, where we delve into the exceptional world of short filmmaking. In this article, we will not only provide you with the full list of winners, but also highlight the top 10 live-action shorts that have left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of audiences and critics alike. 

These films exemplify the immense potential of the art form, often tackling powerful themes and showcasing the talents of emerging filmmakers. So, sit back and join us as we celebrate cinematic excellence in its most concise form.

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action 

Oscars for Best Live-Action Short

The history of the Short Film Oscar dates back to the early years of the Academy Awards, with the first statuette awarded in 1932. Over the years, this prestigious accolade has evolved into three distinct categories: Live-Action, Animation, and Documentary. 

The Short Film Oscar has played a pivotal role in recognizing exceptional storytelling in a compact format, often serving as a launchpad for emerging talent. From the pioneering works of cinema's early days to the innovative creations of today, the Short Film Oscar celebrates the artistry, vision, and dedication of filmmakers who captivate audiences with their compelling narratives and unique perspectives. Let’s look at the full list of Oscar-winning short films.

Oscar Winning Short Films Full List


  • 1932 - The Music Box (Laurel and Hardy)
  • 1933 - So This Is Harris!
  • 1934 - La Cucaracha
  • 1935 - Wings Over Everest
  • 1936 - How to Sleep
  • 1937 - The Private Life of the Gannets
  • 1938 - That Mothers Might Live
  • 1939 - Busy Little Bears
  • 1940 - The Milky Way
  • 1941 - Main Street on the March!
  • 1942 - Beyond the Line of Duty
  • 1943 - Heavenly Music
  • 1944 - Who's Who in Animal Land
  • 1945 - Stairway to Light
  • 1946 - Facing Your Danger
  • 1947 - Goodbye, Miss Turlock
  • 1948 - Symphony of a City
  • 1949 - Aquatic House Party
  • 1950 - In Beaver Valley
  • 1951 - World of Kids
  • 1952 - Light in the Window
  • 1953 - Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • 1954 - This Mechanical Age
  • 1955 - Survival City
  • 1956 - Crashing the Water Barrier
  • 1957 - The Wetback Hound
  • 1958 - Grand Canyon
  • 1959 - The Golden Fish
  • 1960 - Day of the Painter
  • 1961 - Seawards the Great Ships
  • 1962 - Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary)
  • 1963 - An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
  • 1964 - Casals Conducts: 1964
  • 1965 - The Chicken (Le Poulet)
  • 1966 - Wild Wings
  • 1967 - A Place to Stand
  • 1968 - Robert Kennedy Remembered
  • 1969 - The Magic Machines
  • 1970 - The Resurrection of Broncho Billy
  • 1971 - Sentinels of Silence
  • 1972 - Norman Rockwell's World... An American Dream
  • 1973 - The Bolero
  • 1974 - One-Eyed Men Are Kings (Les Borgnes Sont Roi)
  • 1975 - Angel and Big Joe
  • 1976 - In the Region of Ice
  • 1977 - I'll Find a Way
  • 1978 - Teenage Father
  • 1979 - Board and Care
  • 1980 - The Dollar Bottom
  • 1981 - Violet
  • 1982 - A Shocking Accident
  • 1983 - Boys and Girls
  • 1984 - Up
  • 1985 - Molly's Pilgrim
  • 1986 - Precious Images
  • 1987 - Ray's Male Heterosexual Dance Hall
  • 1988 - The Appointments of Dennis Jennings
  • 1989 - Work Experience
  • 1990 - The Lunch Date
  • 1991 - Session Man
  • 1992 - Omnibus
  • 1993 - Black Rider (Schwarzfahrer)
  • 1994 - Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life
  • 1995 - Lieberman in Love
  • 1996 - Dear Diary
  • 1997 - Visas and Virtue
  • 1998 - Election Night (Valgaften)
  • 1999 - My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York
  • 2000 - Quiero ser (I want to be...)
  • 2001 - The Accountant
  • 2002 - This Charming Man (Der er en yndig mand)
  • 2003 - Two Soldiers
  • 2004 - Wasp
  • 2005 - Six Shooter
  • 2006 - West Bank Story
  • 2007 - Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)
  • 2008 - Spielzeugland (Toyland)
  • 2009 - The New Tenants
  • 2010 - God of Love
  • 2011 - The Shore
  • 2012 - Curfew
  • 2013 - Helium
  • 2014 - The Phone Call
  • 2015 - Stutterer
  • 2016 - Sing
  • 2017 - The Silent Child
  • 2018 - Skin
  • 2019 - The Neighbors' Window
  • 2020 - Two Distant Strangers
  • 2021 - The Long Goodbye
  • 2022 - An Irish Goodbye

After delving into the impressive roster of Oscar-winning short films, it's time to focus on the cream of the crop. Let’s take a look at the top 10 ranked Oscar short winners that have left an indelible mark on cinematic history and continue to inspire filmmakers and audiences alike. 

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action 

10. Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (1993)

Kafka's It's a wonderful life  •  Peter Capaldi  •  Short movie 

Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life is a remarkable British short film directed by Peter Capaldi. This 1995 Oscar-winning masterpiece combines elements of comedy and surrealism to depict the struggles of famous writer Franz Kafka as he tries to write his seminal work, "The Metamorphosis." 

90s Best Short Film Oscar Winner


The film's unique blend of humor, existential dread, and artistic creativity offers viewers an entertaining and thought-provoking exploration of the creative process.

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action

9. Helium (2013)

Helium Official Trailer (2013)

This Danish short film directed by Anders Walter is a tender portrayal of the bond between a terminally ill boy and a hospital janitor who creates an imaginary world called Helium to help the boy cope with his impending death. The film's whimsical visuals and heartfelt storytelling evoke a sense of wonder and melancholy. 

Best Live Action Short Film List


Helium is a poignant reminder of the power of imagination and the importance of compassion.

Oscar Winning Short Films

8. Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets) (2007)

Le Mozart des Pickpockets

This charming French film, directed by Philippe Pollet-Villard, follows two small-time crooks who unwittingly take in a deaf and mute boy. Through humor and heart, the film explores themes of family, loyalty, and redemption.

Award Winning Short Films


The endearing dynamic between the characters, combined with the clever plot twists, make this short an unforgettable and delightful experience.

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action 

7. Stutterer (2015)

Stutterer (2015)

Director Benjamin Cleary tells the story of a young man struggling with a severe stutter, which affects his ability to connect with others. The film beautifully captures the protagonist's internal world through visual storytelling and a compelling voiceover. 

Best Oscar Short FIlms


Stutterer ultimately delivers an uplifting message about overcoming personal obstacles and embracing vulnerability in the pursuit of love.

Best Short Film Oscar Winners

6. Curfew (2012) 

CURFEW  •  Short film

In this intense and emotionally charged film, director Shawn Christensen takes viewers on a journey through a night in the life of a suicidal man who is asked to babysit his estranged niece. The film's striking visuals and powerful performances create a captivating experience that explores themes of redemption, familial bonds, and finding hope in the darkest of moments.

Oscar Winner Best Short Film


Curfew is a testament to the transformative power of human connection.

Inspiring Oscar Winning Short Films

5. Sing (2016)

Sing (Mindenki)  •  by Kristof Deák

Set in Hungary, this charming short film directed by Kristóf Deák tells the story of a young girl who joins a renowned children's choir, only to discover the darker side of their success. The film effectively uses music as both a plot device and metaphor, exploring themes of integrity, friendship, and the courage to stand up for what's right. 

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action


Sing's captivating narrative and emotive performances make it an inspiring and uplifting watch.

Best Oscar Short Films

4. The Accountant (2001) 

The Accountant  •  Short Comedy Movie

Ray McKinnon's The Accountant is a quirky dark comedy-drama that follows the journey of a peculiar accountant trying to rescue a family farm in trouble. With its eye-catching visuals, sharp wit, and fascinating characters, this film draws you in and keeps you hooked. It explores the challenges of money problems, the importance of sticking with family, and the sacrifices people make for their loved ones. 

Award Winning Short Films


The offbeat humor and surprising turns in The Accountant make it not only an engaging but also a truly fun movie to watch.

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action 

3. Black Rider (Schwarzfahrer) (1993)

Oscar-awarded short film against racism  •  "Schwarzfahrer"

This German short film from director Pepe Danquart uses a simple premise — a racist woman berating a Black passenger on a tram — to deliver a powerful message about prejudice and racism. The film's clever twist ending, combined with its incisive humor and social commentary, makes it a standout piece. Black Rider's timeless relevance and biting satire continue to resonate with audiences today.

Award Winning Film Shorts


Black Rider skillfully employs humor, social commentary, and an unexpected twist to convey an enduring and impactful message about prejudice and racism.

Best Live Action Short Film

2. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1963)

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

This haunting adaptation of Ambrose Bierce's classic short story is renowned for its innovative storytelling and surreal atmosphere. Director Robert Enrico masterfully employs a non-linear narrative structure, using flashbacks and dream sequences to explore the protagonist's final moments before his execution.

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action


The film's striking visuals and powerful themes of life, death, and the human will to survive make it an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Academy Award for Best Short Film Live Action 

1. Six Shooter (2005)


Directed by Martin McDonagh, renowned British-Irish playwright, screenwriter, and director, known for his dark humor, distinct style, this darkly comedic Irish film follows a grief-stricken man who encounters a disturbed young stranger on a train journey. 

With its sharp dialogue, unpredictable twists, and outstanding performances, Six Shooter explores themes of loss, guilt, and the search for redemption. Its unique blend of humor and tragedy make it a memorable and thought-provoking work of art.

Best Short Film Oscar Winner


Six Shooter is arguably the best Oscar-winning short film due to its exceptional storytelling, unforgettable characters, and masterful balance of dark humor and poignant emotion that leaves a lasting impact on audiences.


How to Make a Short Film

Now that we've explored the captivating world of short films, it's time to dive into the creative process behind them. In our next blog post, we'll provide you with valuable insights and practical tips on crafting your very own cinematic masterpiece. 

Up Next: How to Make a Short Film →
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