After returning from a trip to the moon, an astronaut is disappointed to find that the world has lost interest in her journey. As things progress, her life intersects with a filmmaker and a bear on a unicycle in this charming and touching animated short film by writer/director Mathieu Libman.
THE BEST Short Films
Bernardo Britto’s emotionally-satisfying short film follows the story of an ordinary man who is tasked with creating the definitive history of humanity before aliens come to blow up our planet. The animation captured numerous awards when on the festival circuit back in 2014. Now, the clip is for all to view online.
Filmmaker daihei shibata presents a satisfying compilation of images that start out with two polarized objects, then fill in the gradations between them to produce a smooth transition. The video expresses how blurring boundaries can expose complexity, diversity, and richness of information.
A man stumbles onto a YouTube video for a woman who claims she can reconnect him with someone he misses. But when he hits play, he gets more than he bargains for in this taught and minimal horror short film from director Dominic Grose. Best watched full screen with the volume cranked.
Filmmakers Vincent Urban, Max Neumeier & Tim David Höddinghaus of 27km created this amazing short film that offers a glimpse into the vast and varied nation of Russia. From the cosmopolitan chaos of Moscow to the icy and unspoiled Lake Baikal, the film is like a candy sampler box packed with all kinds of tasty visuals.
Zita and Rafael of Zurich-based animation studio Crictor love to make super-short videos with the goal of making people smile. Previously, they used a blow torch to pop a single kernel of popcorn; now they’re celebrating the new year by blowing streamers into the air with a hairdryer.
This animated short film plays out like a side-scroller action game, but the level design isn’t just some background scenery. Instead, the story of its protagonist’s tragic past relationship are recalled as she runs through the stages, fueled by a blast of caffeine. From director Hjalti Hjalmarsson and Blender Animation Studio.
This stop-motion animated short film by Soetkin Verstegen is an abstract journey to a place where workers are tasked with retrieving ice and preserving it before it melts. As they move the blocks, the creatures living inside are reanimated. It doesn’t follow a traditional plot but does a great job placing us in its chilly universe.
Water is critical to the survival of almost all living things. This fascinating time-lapse short film by Christian Stangl provides a close-up look at what happens to organics as they run out of moisture. Stangl captured the images using a combination of macro lenses and microscopes. View a selection of stills on Flickr.
Head to the Pacific Northwest in this epic snowboarding film from KORUA Shapes. The black-and-white photography evokes quite the mood as boarders take to the slopes in the days before the pandemic lockdown. The title is based on the nickname for Washington state’s Ranier Beer, which served as lubricant for the cast and crew.
Dan is a man on a mission to find his match while in space. After searching relationship sites, he finally managed to score a date. But it’s not what he had hoped for. Austen Reeder’s short clip is every bit as weird and warped as we’ve come to expect from Adult Swim SMALLS. Take more Star Boat journeys here.
Each Chinese New Year, a girl receives a lucky coin in one of her dumplings. After years of collecting the coins, she loses them and has an unsettling experience during her journey to a new land. Siqi Song’s stop-motion short is a beautifully-animated allegory about leaving home and adjusting to a new culture.
(PG-13) Andrea Vinciguerra’s darkly humorous animated short has a simple message: “If you choose to dance. Please dance responsibly.” It teaches the importance of this rule through a series of vignettes where people blindly follow the choreography of other people who may or may not actually be dancing.
“I once saw him twirl a couch on a single finger.” Animator Alan Jennings introduces us to Mr. Bill Jennings, a man from Newbury, Vermont with some extraordinary talents and experiences under his belt. The charming short film reminds us that everyone has a story to tell, no matter how ordinary they might look on the surface.
Sergey Vasiliev decided he had enough of the old “in Soviet Russia” trope which represents his country as technologically backward. Incorporating some clever visual effects, his brilliant short film imagines a Russian farm where everything is running on the latest tech. The footage reminds us of the work of Simon Stålenhag.
Zeppelin Zeerip’s offbeat short film owes more than a bit to the style of Wes Anderson, telling the story of a group of young men who head into the snowy mountains of Idaho in search of an elusive Hermit who escaped from an asylum. It’s an unexpected blend of winter sports action and quirky indie film tropes.
One of the worst parts of childhood is feeling like you don’t fit in. In director Catherine Prowse’s animated short promo for UK children’s charity Childline, they remind us that there is no such thing as “normal” and if we all let our freak flags fly and accepted our differences, the world would be a better place.
2001: A Space Odyssey evokes quite the sense of isolation as HAL 9000 picks off the Discovery One’s crew, then Dave Bowman has a quiet, hallucinogenic trip. Filmmaker Lydia Cambron’s dark parody explores the parallels between Kubrick’s universe and the one we’ve been living in since the pandemic started in 2020.
Animator Michael Marczewski presents an exceptionally blocky short film in which e-mails manifest themselves as tiny cubes that walk between computers. As the messages cross back and forth between two co-workers, things go off the rails when objects get in the way and corrupt their communications.
Like many inventions, pharmaceuticals are a double-edged sword. Some have saved and improved millions of lives, while others have caused terrible side-effects and dangerous, deadly addictions. Patrick Smith’s rapidfire short film offers a satirical commentary on our obsession with drugs without saying a word.
As the girls of Camp Heebie Jeebie share their creepy ghost stories, things take a turn and their creations start to come to life. Animator Dylan Chase’s comedic horror short has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, along with exceptional character design and storytelling.
It’s October 31, and a deranged serial killer is on the loose. But this horror movie cliche is having a crummy day because it’s 2020, and nobody is out trick-or-treating. Then, he encounters something even more terrifying than he usually scares up. The short that Andrew Kasch created for Just Scare Me is good for a Halloween chuckle.
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