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The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

Short-film aficionados: Oscar-nominated shorts at Kendall

Each year the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences nominates five animated and five live-action short films as the best of the previous 12 months. But they’re not necessarily the best, of course — just the best (in theory) of those shorts that, per Academy rules, received a commercial run for at least three consecutive days in a movie theater somewhere in Los Angeles County or won an award at one of 75 qualifying film festivals without ever receiving previous exposure on TV, home video, or the Internet.

So there’s plenty of worthy work that doesn’t make the cut, or can’t afford to, or made the mistake of bum-rushing YouTube. That high barrier to entry means a given year’s slate can be surprisingly lackluster, as it is with the 2014 nominees for best live-action short, unspooling with their animated cousins at the Kendall Square starting Friday.

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