THE BEST Short Films

Conspiracy Cruise

Conspiracy Cruise

(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.

Sounds of a City

Sounds of a City

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.

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Change It All

Change It All

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.

Mummy

Mummy

In the first episode of his “Quarantine of the Damned” series, animator Jon Portman introduces us to a mummy living through a virus pandemic. When his neighbors start to run out of toilet paper, he sees a major business opportunity. Warning: potty humor ahead.

Into the Flame

Into the Flame

(PG-13) After a moth burrows into a businessman’s ear, he starts to have visions which take hold and set him off on a new course through life. Hue&Cry’s short film is a beautifully animated and expressive tale of self-discovery and transformation.

Quarantine Dog Good Boy

Quarantine Dog Good Boy

“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.

The Follow-Up

The Follow-Up

(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.

Instant Doctor

Instant Doctor

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

Freelance

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.

Born Again

Born 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.

Lighting with Flares

Lighting with Flares

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.

Marty

Marty

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.

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

A man struggles throughout his life with self-doubt and social anxiety, and the manifestation of his fears appears in the form of a spiky hedgehog. Director Ed Bulmer’s animated short film reminds us that even the worst fears are simply creations of our own imaginations.

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HORSE

HORSE

We could all use a little bit of silliness in these trying times, so we want to send a big thank you to animator AJ Jefferies for a much needed smile. His goofy short video has one very simple premise: “A horse struggles to exist.” We know you can do it, horsey! Go for it!

Moving Parts

Moving Parts

Andrew B. Myers‘ experimental short film uses a combination of animation techniques to fill the frame with dozens of tiny objects constantly in motion. There’s so much going on that you’ll need to go back and watch it multiple times to catch all of the neat little details.

EPOCH

EPOCH

Visual artist Kevin McGloughlin used countless images from Google Earth along with audio samples from NASA to provide “a visual representation of our connection to earth and it’s vulnerable glory.” It’s amazing how these static satellite images can tell such a story.

WOLAKOTA

WOLAKOTA

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.

One Word

One Word

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.

Bookface

Bookface

Created in collboration between filmmaker Jacco Kliesch and Erlangen City, Germany’s public library, this short film offers a cinematic take on the playful “bookface” art trend, in which people line up real-life scenes with photographic images on book covers.

Sinners

Sinners

Vincent Boehringer’s impactful short film follows two young men who experience very different feelings after committing a violent crime together. What makes it so effective is how it tells its story without a single word of dialogue.

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Pangu

Pangu

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?

Afterwork

Afterwork

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.

Food Play

Food Play

The guys from Toronto creative studio reactiv like to play with their food. In this lighthearted animated short, they imagine that edibles were actually used for playing various sports, and making quite the mess in the process.

While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping

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.

Charlotte’s Daydream

Charlotte’s Daydream

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.

The Jog

The Jog

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.

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