It’s Oscar week, and the mad scramble is on to see as many of the Academy Award-nominated films as possible before Sunday’s broadcast.
But if you’ve already seen “Lincoln” and “Django Unchained” and would like to catch up on some of the less heralded nominees, the National Archives is hosting free screenings this week for four categories of films that don’t typically make it to the multiplex: Documentary Features, Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film and Documentary Short Subject. On Saturday, the live-action shorts will be shown at noon, while the animated shorts will be shown at 3:30 and 5 p.m.
On Sunday, the documentary shorts will be shown at 11 a.m.
The documentary features will be screened throughout the week, starting Wednesday and running through Sunday. The organizers promise the last movie will conclude by 6 p.m. Sunday to get everybody home in time for the Oscars broadcast.
Some of the features have made quite a splash in Washington already, particularly “The Invisible War,” a film about sexual assault in the military that has led to changes in Pentagon policy and proposed legislation on Capitol Hill. Others touch on public policy issues, such as “How to Survive a Plague,” about the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Some are just highly entertaining and have great stories and music, such as “Searching for Sugar Man.”
Here’s the schedule for the features, which screen at 7 p.m.:
• Wednesday: “Searching for Sugar Man”
• Thursday: “The Gatekeepers”
• Friday: “How to Survive a Plague”
• Saturday: “The Invisible War”
• Sunday’s film, “5 Broken Cameras,” will begin at 4 p.m.
All the screenings will take place in the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater at Constitution Avenue Northwest between Seventh and Ninth streets. They’ll all be hosted by local film critic Willie Waffle.