Like the features nominated every year, the shorts typically demonstrate a high level of professionalism and a conversely low level of artistic courage. They range from pious political statements (Kavi, about an Indian boy virtually enslaved by his parents’ debt; The Door, a sad tale of a family cursed by the Chernobyl disaster) to deft comedy (Instead of Abracadabra, about an incompetent young magician; The New Tenants, a blackly humorous farce featuring Kevin Corrigan and Vincent D’Onofrio). They’re all quite worthy, but none of them can compete with the Australian short Miracle Fish, which perches delicately between childhood fantasy and gruesome reality.