Joe Sill’s animated science fiction short envisions a future where a corporation runs a massive network of autonomous vehicles, and those who drive themselves are hunted down as criminals. The proof-of-concept thriller follows a gang of motorcycle couriers who must deliver a mysterious package.
THE BEST Short Films
Filmmaker Natalia Mirzoyan’s animated short depicts a brief moment in time at the beach, where people of all ages come to enjoy the sunshine and saltwater. While painting an evocative portrait, the film explores the different ways that people perceive time throughout their lives.
A man has been trapped aboard his own spaceship for years, as his robot guardian insists that not a single planet they’ve visited is habitable. But what’s the real reason he’s not allowed to disembark? Gökalp Gönen’s short film is a thought-provoking and creative work of science fiction with a fantastic style and mood.
The Nintendo 64 is known for games like Super Mario 64 and Star Fox 64. But there was another potentially big N64 title that never came out. In this short film from Adam Butcher, he takes a look back at Catastrophe Crow!, a highly-anticipated game that vanished along with its creator under strange circumstances. Or did it?
Danil Krivoruchko and a group of talented artists around the world collaborated on this fantastic fan film inspired by Peter Watts’ science fiction novel of the same name. It tells just a sliver of the original story from the perspective of a man waking up from cryosleep, as he recalls a first-contact mission with a alien species.
Using narration based on an actual Craigslist “Missed Connections” ad, animator Patrick Dias imagines what actually happened when a man dropped his prosthetic arm while running to catch a train. The captivating voice acting by Tiana Asperjan helps bring depth to the story. We’d love to see a whole series of these.
Social distancing has changed things since Nata Metlukh created her lighthearted animated short film. But we can still relate to its many examples of socially awkward situations that can pop up when the world is functioning normally. We quite enjoyed the quirky illustration style.
Director James Molle and students from Gobelins animation school take us along for a boy’s journey of discovery, as he struggles with worry and seeks answers from a world occupied by strange, anthropomorphic characters. The low-res pixel animation style and lack of speech compliment the mystique of the short film.
Director André Øvredal (Trollhunter) presents a dark vision of the future, as a family returns from a day at the beach, only to be stuck in a painfully-long traffic jam waiting to enter a tunnel. But we gradually learn the passage serves a terrifying purpose. Based on the 1961 short story The Tunnel Ahead by Alice Glaser.
This silly animated short pokes fun at a sci-fi trope, as a floating vessel is stopped by the authorities and asked to provide their information. Its creators Karl Poyzer and Joe Roberts did a great job making us laugh with their minimal approach to movement and focus on cheeky dialogue.
PoChien Chen’s animated short film uses a lighthearted style to paint a devastating picture, as a chef serves up a variety of deadly dishes to his animal customers while his human patrons destroy their habitat and gorge on sushi, oblivious to the harm they’re doing to the planet.
The spice might be life in Dune, but on this alien’s world, it’s sugar that reigns supreme. This animated short follows the story of an extraterrestrial on a quest to bring the critical condiment back to his home planet in hopes of saving it. Created by Ilya Landshut for HumanArtStudio.
While stuck home during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to try and vary your days and mix things. up. In Jan Riesenbeck and Dennis Stein-Schomburg’s strange short film, a man explores the importance of breaking out of routines, while his floating head transforms into some of the many thoughts he expresses.
What if God was an amateur computer programmer, and Earth was just one of the experiments he created using a graphical world-building application? That’s the setup for Magnus Møller, Mette Tange, and Peter Smith’s silly animated short film for Tumblehead. It also explains where that whole flat Earth thing came from.
Sander Joon’s cacophonous animated short film is best experienced with headphones or nice loud speakers. As its vignettes play out, each object on screen makes a familiar, but very different sound than you’d expect it to make. It turns out that mushrooms are especially noisy little dudes.
(PG-13: Language) Writer/Director Graham Parkes’ comedic short film follows a man struggling with self-doubt, and a mysterious persona that continues to beat him down at every turn. But is this guy a figment of his imagination, or can everyone hear the stuff he’s saying?
Richard Noble’s superbly executed short film tells the story of a fictitious tycoon who hopes to build a theme park bearing his name, but whose obsessive nature, pride, and constant changes to the park’s design becomes his downfall. The title character clearly draws inspiration from Walt Disney and Howard Hughes.
What Jeremy Schaefer’s animated short lacks in depth, it makes up for with action and style. The premise is simple, yet sets up some entertaining scenarios. Basically, there’s a mercenary who surprises his targets by hiding and popping out of all sorts of boxes. If cats were assassins, this is how they’d do it.
(PG-13: Language) A loss prevention officer encounters a thief in his store, and finds himself faced with a moral dilemma after realizing he has a past with the shoplifter. Alexander Etseyatse’s powerful short film offers a more human look at crime and law enforcement than the way they’re typical portrayed in TV and movies.
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