(PG-13: Language) A group of conspiracy theorists convene on a cruise ship to meet one of their most steadfast believers. But as his crackpot theories start to show their cracks, something unexpected happens aboard the ship. Brad Abrahams fantastic short film has great performances and the perfect amount of dramatic tension.
THE BEST Short Films
We’ve seen other footage of empty cities, but Dayne Hudson’s short film takes a different approach, focusing not just on the stark visuals, but capturing the eerily quiet audio around Sydney, Australia during the 2020 pandemic. We’d be remiss not to mention sound designer and editor Mark Parry for his work on the piece.
A stoic and inflexible tree monster finds himself alone and depressed after a bad breakup. But when his ex drops his daughter off for a visit, his hardened shell begins to crack. Adam Rose-Levy’s video for Camel Power Club’s track Change It All is just the right blend of quirky and heartwarming.
“I used to do tricks too, but the tricks don’t make them happy anymore.” Elke Van Der Steen, Lucia Ahrensdorf, and Michael Reich collaborated on this strange, but oddly relatable short film that takes us inside the mind of a dog while its masters are stuck at home under quarantine. Warning: Dog poop ahead.
(PG-13: Language) Filmmaker Ben Berman’s meta-documentary was made entirely under self-quarantine. He used the service Cameo to pay actors and other celebrities, along with news footage and search engine queries to paint a picture of the anxiety being fueled by social media and other rumor mills.
Remote visits with doctors have become commonplace these days, but this science fiction short film from The Bloc and The Youth explores what could happen if we ever let AI tech do the doctoring instead of humans, and serves as a tribute of sorts to the real doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals on the front lines.
Freelance motion designer James Tupper presents a cheeky animated glimpse into a small piece of the world of a freelance motion designer, as he creates and programs digital imagery, waits for it to render, waits for his social media views to tally up, then does it all over again.
(PG-13: Gore, Language) “I call ye forth… the devil… with my name… Greg!” Jason Tostevin’s completely sacrilegious horror-comedy short film introduces us to a group of satanists who basically have no clue of what they’re doing, as they try to call forth the devil’s spawn from a pregnant woman.
Filmmakers Hugo Manhes and Madcow collaborated on the short film Trajectoires, which uses a simple concept to produce a dramatic effect. By dangling bright flares from a couple of drones, they created a unique source of illumination for their natural surroundings. Set to an ethereal soundtrack by Linky Larson.
Filmmaker Mike McKinlay’s documentary short film follows the story of Marty, an 11-year-old kid who’s obsessed with skateboarding and ’70s and ’80s punk rock. The film does a great job capturing the spirit of something we all craved as kids, our own unique identities. Though a real ’80s skate punk wouldn’t wear a helmet.
Filmmakers Tim Sessler and Wanbli Omani created this powerful short film that starkly contrasts the purity of Native American life with the environmental burdens of urbanization. The title pays respect to the Lakota people’s sacred way of life that incorporates peace, harmony, and respect between humans and all life.
Lightfarm Studios and Area 23’s intense award-winning animated short film features takes us un a truly wild ride, as a baby finds itself under attack from a universe of terrifying monsters. But if you stick around until the end, you’ll find out the real reason things seem so unsettling.
Inspired by an ancient Chinese myth about creation, Taiko Studios‘ animated short film tells the story of a god who has the ability to conjure worlds from nothing. When he realizes the one thing missing is a child, he makes a son in his own image. But will independent thought drive them apart, or bring them closer together?
Like Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, and Elmer Fudd, Groompy the rabbit perpetually plays the foil in his cartoons. But when he heads home, the monotony and frustration of his life lead him to a dark place. Luis Usón and Andrés Aguilar’s animated short film is brilliantly executed, but incredibly somber.
Charlie Stewart’s beautifully minimal animated short film takes us on a journey to a far-off planet, where two scientists have been left to explore, and two AI-powered digital assistants who strike up a conversation as they wonder where their human masters have gone.
As Charlotte peers out into space from her observatory, she sees what can only be described as a literal black hole. As it approaches the Earth, she dives in and experiences a new perspective on her home planet. A wonderfully imaginative short film by animator Marlies van der Wel with music by Pieter de Graaf.
Joseph Lee Anderson wrote, directed, and starred in this short film about a man who starts his day on a very positive note, but things take a tragic turn after he heads out for his morning jog. It’s a powerful story about racism and prejudice, boiled down to five powerful minutes.