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Taylor Swift Is In Full Campaign Mode For A Short Film Oscar

Taylor Swift -- Photo: Beth Garrabrant
Taylor Swift – Photo: Beth Garrabrant

The time of year has arrived when award-bait movies find their way into theaters and actors, directors, and artists of all kinds begin taking part in a variety of events and press opportunities in order to get the word out about their latest projects and endear themselves to the powers that be.

Simply put, Oscar season is upon us, and while many of the usual suspects are making the rounds, there is one superstar who seems to be working overtime for a nomination few could have predicted she’d be in the running for only a few years ago.

Taylor Swift is working hard to secure her first Oscar nomination in the Best Live Action Short Film category. Yes, that’s right, the singer-songwriter is campaigning deliberately and intelligently as a director, writer, and producer on her own All Too Well: The Short Film, which is eligible for the trophy and being taken seriously in the conversation.

All Too Well: The Short Film served as the music video to accompany her re-recording of the song of the same name. While the original “All Too Well” appeared on her album Red more than a decade ago, the reworked take was released as a single from Red (Taylor’s Version) in December 2021.

The tune debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, becoming the longest leader in history. Swift doesn’t give 50% on anything she’s involved with, and it’s impressive how much she’s doing to turn this somewhat far-fetched dream into a reality.

Here’s a look at everything Swift has done to earn All Too Well: The Short Film an Oscar nomination.

All Too Well: The Short Film

Released In Theaters

All Too Well: The Short Film had an official premiere–complete with stars as well as plenty of press and even some fans–on November 12, 2021, in New York City.

At the ceremony, Swift performed the extended take of the song for the very first time, and the video was shared online less than a day later. Having been screened in a theater, the clip is eligible for the top prize in the film world.

Behind The Scenes Video

On December 8, 2022, Swift released a behind-the-scenes look at the making of All Too Well: The Short Film. The clip–which is shorter than the video itself–sees the Grammy winner hard at work as a director. She communicates her vision to both the actors and camera people on set, and it’s clear that there was plenty of thought that went into creating the treatment.

The timing of the release of this extra content is not coincidental, as December is perhaps the busiest month of the year for those in Hollywood as they decide who they’ll vote for at the upcoming Oscars. The weeks that precede ballots being sent out to Academy members are crucial for getting the word out about their work, and Swift and her team are smart to dole out this footage now–more than a year after the release of the initial film.

Directors On Directors

Swift is one of a handful of talents chosen to take part in this year’s edition of Variety’s Directors on Directors, an annual video series featuring those who helmed some of the most talked-about and critically-applaud movies of the year. Everyone who says yes to the program does so to endear themselves to Oscar voters, and all of their films are in the awards conversation.

The “All Too Well” star is set to kick the series off the latest series with a conversation with The Banshees of Inisherin writer/director Martin McDonagh, with their episode debuting on December 12. Also featured in the 2022 edition are fellow directors James Cameron, Ryan Coogler, and Tyler Perry, among others.

Big Hollywood Events

In addition to everything else she has going on, Swift has been finding time to pack her schedule with other events that allow her to showcase her film, discuss her process, and meet with voters. This is common practice in Hollywood, and the only thing that makes it stand out when it comes to the singer-songwriter is the award she’s vying for.

Throughout 2022, Swift has screened All Too Well: The Short Film at a number of high-profile and strategically-chosen events, such as the Tribeca Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has also appeared at at least one private invite-only screening in Los Angeles for Hollywood tastemakers, and each time, she’s spoken about her project and occasionally taken time to introduce herself to those who choose who gets nominated and even pose for photos.

While the idea of Swift’s music video (though she’s insisted it’s not that) being up for an Oscar might be unusual for the category, the reality is that it seems to have a real shot at a nod. In fact, she could earn a pair of chances to win, as her single “Carolina” is also competing for a spot in the Best Original Song field.

All Too Well: The Short Film has already won Video of the Year at the MTV VMAs and it was recently nominated for Best Music Video at the Grammys. It might not be a typical choice, but with praise, press coverage, and eligibility on its side, there may be at least one Academy Award nomination in Swift’s future — and why shouldn’t there be?

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