If you’ve lived with anxiety, you can probably relate to this short film from director Helen Takken, in which a young woman experiences a severe panic that can only be described as the sensation of drowning. The visual metaphor is brilliantly executed, and reminds us to keep an eye on the people around us.
THE BEST Short Films
“He understands how you feel. Probably better than you do.” Director Alex Widdowson’s documentary short film uses animation to tell the story of his brother Jamie, a man with a profound learning disability. It delves into his appreciation for the little things in life, and how his family has adapted to their situation.
“You want Earth? You can just take it.” After a fisherman is abducted by aliens, he explains to his captors how screwed up our planet is and how it’s not really worth their effort. Kevin James‘ short film offers a comedic but occasionally profound look at humans can be simultaneously the worst and the best things ever.
Filmmaker Robert Findlay transports us to a dystopian underground world where a network of robots and vending machines work together to deliver products and services, and tells the tale of two men who attempt to abuse the system. The sound design by Andrew Findlay really helps to build dramatic tension.
An ordinary guy loses his train of thought during a marketing meeting, then slips into a deep funk as he struggles to remember his point. Kevin James‘ and the Kinnane Brothers‘ short film does a great job turning an everyday occurence into something far more dramatic than it should be.
(PG-13: Language) An awkward and socially-inept woman invites a girlfriend over for a sleepover, but we quickly discover their friendship isn’t real, and things take quite an unexpected turn. Carlyn Hudson’s dark comedy short film could easily be the premise for an episode of Black Mirror.
Some of our earliest childhood memories involve colorful Fisher-Price toys with big buttons, spinny parts, and other tactile things to play with. This short animation from NYC creative house Bullpen envisions the evolution of these toys as we grow into adulthood, better representing life, from the mundane to the downright dangerous.
(Flashing Lights) A woman takes a walk through a contemporary art gallery, and when she comes across an ordinary fork on display, she imagines the creative potential of the eating utensil and other ordinary objects. Optical Arts’ wild short film is packed with surreal and dynamic CG imagery. Behind the scenes here.
(PG-13: Language) Future Garbage presents an excellent short film about a time traveler who visits the exact location and time at which time travel itself was discovered. But will his trip disrupt the fabric of the universe and create a paradox? Written, directed, produced by and starring David Matthew Olson.
Animator and illustrator Vier Nev describes A Mind Sang as “a short film about perception, rebirth and transformation.” But it’s also a wonderful exploration of optical illusions and the phenomenon known as Pareidolia, or humans’ tendency to see faces and other body features in places where they aren’t.
After landing on a deserted planet, an astronaut finds himself stuck on the surface with no way back into his spaceship. Rok Andic’s animated short reminds us of the slapstick comedy of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, while Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie is the perfect score as Ben attempts to reboard his ship.
(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.
Too hyper? Too sleepy? Too fat? Too scrawny? Big pharma has got you covered. Chris O’Hara’s animated short film follows the story of one man’s obsession with pills, and reminds us that while some drugs really can be helpful, that becoming too reliant on them can be a slippery slope.
Cats and birds aren’t supposed to get along, but in the world of Aaron’s Animals, resident kitty Prince Michael has been raising a bunch of ducklings. But when one of the fuzzy little guys struggles to be accepted by his brothers, he makes a break for it, and falls in with a bad crowd. Best watched with Closed Captions on.
Phil is a skeleton. He quickly rose to fame on the big screen as a stop-motion superstar. Then, modern effects put him out of business. Michael Shanks’ (aka “timtimfed“) charming short film is a fun blend of live-action, animation, and VFX, and a loving tribute to the great Ray Harryhausen. Behind the scenes here.
Jalil Sadool & Adam Meyer of Steamroller Studios present a concept pilot for an intriguing animated series. Spice Frontier is a lighthearted and action-packed story about a starship crew on a mission to track down and recover the last remaining Earth spices in an effort to preserve our world’s culinary history.
Animator Junyi Xiao’s short film The Last Man on Earth Sat Alone in a Room has quite the warped sense of humor. It tells the story of a lonely man who spends his days sitting in front of his computer, and who makes quick work off an alien who comes seeking friendship at his door. But as they often say “karma’s a bitch.”
Jason Young’s wordless documentary introduces us to John and Nancy Little, a couple who spends their days enjoying retirement in the Nova Scotia countryside, and their nights performing a secret task for the RCMP. The short film stands as both a commentary on gun violence, and an intriguing work of visual art.
A man stops at a remote Australian gas station in search of a fill-up. But when he goes inside to enquire about the pumps, he encounters a truly perplexing scenario. Writer/Director Alex Feggans‘ offbeat short film starts out as unsettling, but takes a truly unexpected path along its way.
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.
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