Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures will once again bring the wildly popular Oscar-nominated short film program (Live-Action and Animation) to theaters in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

The Oscar Shorts program will open in theaters from February 19th, expanding to 100 cities in the following weeks. A list of participating theatres will be available at beginning February 4th.

The theatrical release of the Academy Award-nominated short films has met with enthusiastic audiences ever since their launch 5 years ago, giving people around the world an opportunity to see the nominated films prior to the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony on March 7th. The series' popularity has charted a spectacular 289% increase in attendance at the domestic box office since its inception in 2005, breaking the record last year for the highest gross ever on a single screen at New York's IFC Center.

"These short films prove the continued relevance of the short film category with a formidable line-up of varied productions from around the world." said Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of Shorts International. "These filmmakers represent filmmaking talent of the future and we are thrilled to be introducing them to the marketplace."

"It's the only program of its kind, making Oscar-nominated short films available to the public before the awards," said Tom Quinn, SVP of Magnolia Pictures. "If audiences are interested in improving their handicap come Oscar night, this is the best way to get a head start."

Nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday morning.