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Oscar Shorts Are Tall on Talent

Some Oscar nominees don't get much attention on the red carpet. But the nominees for Best Short Documentary are a diverse, international group with subjects ranging from a Chinese orphan with AIDS to families who make their living scavenging through the Guatemala City garbage dump.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.