Oscar nominations: The Sundance connections
Published: January 25, 2012 01:47PM
Updated: January 30, 2012 09:51AM
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Grant Orchard, director of "A Morning Stroll." Courtesy Studio AKA

Three Oscar nominations are for films playing at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival:

• The French-Canadian drama “Monsieur Lazhar” was nominated for best foreign-language film.

• Lucy Walker’s “The Tsumani and the Cherry Blossom” (in the Documentary Spotlight program) was nominated in the documentary short category.

• Grant Orchard’s “A Morning Stroll” (playing in Shorts Program I) was nominated for animated short.

Meanwhile, these nominations went to movies that played at last year’s festival:

• “Margin Call” got an original-screenplay nomination for J.C. Chandor.

• The documentaries “Hell and Back Again” (about a soldier’s return from Afghanistan) and “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” both were nominated for documentary feature.

• “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” was nominated for documentary short.

Two of the biggest snubs among the not-nominated involve Sundance ‘11 titles:

• “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which might have deserved recognition for its original screenplay, or for the performances by Elizabeth Olsen or John Hawkes.

• “Take Shelter” arguably deserved nominations for Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain (who was instead nominated for “The Help”).

Another Oscar nod

Max Zähle, a graduate of Hamburg Media School, has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short for his film, “Raju,” which will receive a free screening in Park City on Saturday sponsored by the Angelus Student Film Festival.

In 2011, Zähle won the Angelus Festival’s Patrick Peyton Excellence in Filmmaking Award for “Raju,” which festival organizers describe as an emotional short film about a German couple who adopt a young Indian boy, shot on location in Kolkata, India.

Three previous Angelus winners have earned Oscar nominations, including Luke Matheny of New York University, who won an Academy Award in 2011 for Best Live Action Short for “God of Love.” Last year, Matheny joked to the Tribune that the Oscar nomination was a consolation prize after his short, which won the top Angelus Festival award in 2010, wasn’t accepted for either the Sundance or Slamdance film festivals.

The free screening of Max Zähle’s “Raju” will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Mountain Vineyard, 1401 Kearns Blvd. Zähle will be at the screening and a Q & A following it.