Skye Fitzgerald, director of the Oscar-nominated short documentary “Lifeboat,” has a defining memory as a filmmaker. When he was 21, he saw a car accident and watched a man die as he was being tended to by a first responder. To this day, that image has guided the stories he’s chosen to tell.

“The only principle I use when I’m selecting a story is: if I walk out of this theater tonight and I get hit by that bus, am I proud of the stories I’ve chosen and how I’ve chosen to tell them?” Fitzgerald said during a post-screening panel held by TheWrap on Tuesday.

It was that question that led Fitzgerald to create short documentary about the volunteer crews that rescue refugees lost adrift on the Mediterranean Sea, and a similar desire to tell important global stories fueled the creation of the other four nominated films screened by TheWrap at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles.

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