Chris Nashawaty
February 17, 2015 AT 10:25 PM EST

Live Action Short Films

Also from Poland, this emotionally grueling short is a farewell letter of sorts from a doting mother who is battling terminal cancer to the young son she will never get to see grow up. 

2. Our Curse

Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki | 27 minutes

A devastating video diary made by a young polish couple chronicling the daily struggles of their infant son, who suffers from a rare breathing disorder. I was a blubbering pile of tears. 

1. Criss Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry | 41 minutes

The documentary-short category tends to be the most gut-wrenching and grim of the three. This year’s slate is no exception, but it’s also, I’d argue, the strongest. Exhibit A: this harrowing HBO-produced film about an upstate New York crisis center that fields desperate calls from U.S. military veterans, many of whom are contemplating suicide. It’s a necessary reminder of not only the shattering toll of war but also the remarkable compassion shown by the men and women who help fight the internal battles after it’s over. 



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