Short films and documentaries - where do I get them?

This could possibly be a dumb question, so excuse me if it is.

I was watching the Oscars last night and when it came to the section for nominations for short films and documentaries, I was wondering where I could source them.

Are they all available at the local Blockbuster or Netflix or some such public rental outlets? I don’t remember seeing any in my not so frequent visits to video stores. They are definitely not on MPIX or TMN.

Can someone suggest where I can lay my hands on these things?

Thanks

NetFlix has most, if not all of them.

I just looked, and none of the 2011 nominees for short (documentary, animated or live action) are on Netflix. Only five oscar nominated films are currently available on Netflix.

All of the nominated short films are available on iTunes. Links to all from this short films website.

DirectTV carries something called “The Documentary Channel”. They seem to show a bunch of them.

In the pre-Internet days it was tough. Unless you were lucky enough to be able to go to some film festival where they were being shown, you’d almost never have the chance to see them. But these days you can find on iTunes and even on YouTube.

If the short films and documentaries are indeed so difficult to find and view, how do the producers of those films make money?

They don’t, or at least don’t really expect to. A lot of them are shot by up-and-coming directors who are just wanting to get in on the festival circuit and garner some attention.