Years go by in minutes in Oscar-nominated short 'How Do You Measure A Year?'

Sandy Kenyon Image
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Years go by in minutes in Oscar-nom short 'How Do You Measure A Year?'
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Lightning struck twice for a filmmaker born in Sheepshead Bay who is celebrating back-to-back Oscar nominations. Sandy Kenyon has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Lightning struck twice for a filmmaker born in Sheepshead Bay who is celebrating back-to-back Oscar nominations in the category of Best Documentary Short Subject. Jay Rosenblatt earned the first nod after he went back to Brooklyn for "When We Were Bullies" to look into an incident that happened when he was in 5th grade. He got a second Oscar nomination this year for a subject even closer to home: his own daughter, Ella Rosenblatt.

In "How Do You Measure a Year?" Ella grows up before our eyes. Seventeen years of her life go by in the course of about half an hour. Her father spoke to me via zoom. "In this film we see this girl turn into a woman: physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It's kind of like watching time." He's a therapist turned filmmaker. "And, I think my training as a therapist maybe helped me listen more as a parent than I would have."

Every year on Ella's birthday, her dad would get out the video camera and ask the same questions like, "What's the most important thing to you?" Rosenblatt added that "So much changes in a year, and when you're living with someone day to day you don't see the changes as powerfully as when you go from year to year."

One of the most powerful moments in this show documentary comes on Ella's 14th birthday when she clearly doesn't feel like participating because she is coping with depression. It's a reminder that "those teenage years can be very difficult for all of us, and they were for her."

Rosenblatt has been getting e-mails from parents who have watched this film with their teens and found that patience is indeed a virtue. "Part of what might be nice about that, to watch it with like a teenager, is that parent and the kid could see there's a way out. If you're in a difficult moment that it doesn't have to stay that way."

Check out Sandy Kenyon's picks for Oscars gold:

Sandy Kenyon reveals his picks for this year's Oscars winners.


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