THE BEST Short Films

Senri no michi mo ippo kara

Senri no michi mo ippo kara

The title of Nicolas Bailleul’s stunning short film translates roughly to “Even a road of thousand miles begins with a single step,” and does a great job capturing the flavor of Japanese life as it moves deftly between the incredibly varied worlds of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Koyasan.

Leuki

Leuki

In Julien Leconte’s wonderfully animated short film, a man plays fetch with his pet, when all of a sudden his companion vanishes from sight. As he heads off to find his pal, he stumbles across a mysterious and imposing creature.

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Tekonauts

Tekonauts

This fun stop-motion film from Paul Greer’s Vanguard Pictures follows a battle between two mysterious helmeted opponents chasing each other on some wild vehicles, and promises plenty of crashes, flying machines, and action from start to finish.

(SHn(y)o͞of)

(SHn(y)o͞of)

Most couples have a few silly words that are uniquely theirs. But Bill and Tonya Martin decided to create a complete language of their own that nobody else knows how to speak, called Martinese. Sam Davis and Rayka Zehtabchi’s documentary is at its heart a bittersweet story about parents finding their way after the kids fly the coop.

Finger Machines

Finger Machines

Morgan of Seed Animation Studio gives us all the finger… actually lots of them, in this strange and hypnotic short film which turns human digits into some really unusual mechanical contraptions. At a certain point, they all started looking like hot dogs to us.

Plaisir Sucré

Plaisir Sucré

It’s a story that plays out like the opposite of Sausage Party. A donut is oddly desperate to be eaten by his human friend in this strange and silly animation by MegaComputeur. The title of the short translates to “Sweet Pleasure” in English.

Battle at Big Rock

Battle at Big Rock

This short film from Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow takes place between the end of Fallen Kingdom and its upcoming sequel, due out in 2021. As dinosaurs now roam the earth, a family finds themselves face-to-face with a pack of genetically-engineered prehistoric monsters who invade their campsite.

Max Cooper: Repetition

Max Cooper: Repetition

Visual artist Kevin McGloughlin teamed up with with musician Max Cooper for this mindbending audio-visual collaboration. Reminiscent of the work of the great Philip Glass, Cooper’s repetitive and driving sounds are reflected in surreal scenes which were digitally copied, tweaked, and pasted to repeat endlessly.

Crime of the Century

Crime of the Century

Filmmaker Gioacchino Petronicce’s abstract short film is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes. It takes on the hefty subject of humankind’s impact on the world, exploring our feats and foibles, and contrasting them against images and sounds of nature. Turn up the volume for maximum impact.

Face Swap

Face Swap

A husband and wife go to a high-tech “fantasy suite” to spice up their love life, but all is not how it appears in this Einat Tubi and David Gidali’s dark science fiction short that uses deepfake technology to power its potent social commentary.

The Egg

The Egg

The typically informative Kurzgesagt takes a break from fact to present a work of animated fiction. Based on an original short story by Andy Weir, The Egg is a hopeful tale of what might happen after we leave our bodies behind, and how we are all interconnected in a way.

Martha the Monster

Martha the Monster

In Christopher Weekes bittersweet short film, humans and monsters live alongside each other, but they’re treated like outsiders and freaks. The film’s protagonist struggles with her desire to fit in, but in the end, it delivers a hopeful message about embracing our true selves. Oh, and that’s Rose Byrne as Martha.

Unity

Unity

Rus Khasanov’s experimental short film features vivid and colorful imagery created by shooting macro images of blobs of specially-formulated paints colliding to create new and larger formations, which are at times reminiscent of celestial bodies. Music by Dmitry Evgrafov.

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LINK

LINK

Director Robert Löbel’s wonderfully animated short film introduces us to a pair of characters who find themselves conjoined by a single, stretchy mop of hair, and the struggles they face to live as individuals in their attached world.

Cursor Is Back

Cursor Is Back

Filmmaker Vladimir Tomin is back to his digital antics once more, with another silly short film in which a computer’s arrow cursor interacts with the real world. Can’t get enough of the pointer? Be sure to watch the prequel, Outside.

Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan

Directors Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey aka Terri Timely’s delightful short film tells the story of two sisters – one who is constantly on the move, and the other one who prefers to watch the world go by. But like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady often wins the race.

Honour

Honour

Travel to an exotic planet where a creature finds itself banished, and while exiled, it stumbles onto something unexpected which could help it take revenge on those who sent it away. From the illustration style to its orange color palette, to its concise storytelling, Frederic Siegel’s animated short makes for some intense viewing.

Hybrids

Hybrids

(Gore) Directed by a team of students from computer graphics animation school MoPA, this intense short film envisions a dark undersea world where creatures have evolved and adapted in strange and fascinating ways after pollution ruins their habitat. Making of here.

Cat Days

Cat Days

A young boy named Jiro feels sick, so his father takes him to the doctor. But his initial diagnosis is highly unusual, and could mean big changes for Jiro and the people around him. Animator Jon Frickey’s charming and colorful short film is truly deserving of the heaps of praise it’s received on the award circuit.

The Stained Club

The Stained Club

This short film from a group of Supinfocom animation students packs an emotional wallop. It follows a boy who tries to fit in with a group after he discovers “stains” on his body that he thinks they have in common. But it turns out their marks come from a much darker place than he thought.

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I’m Dead Inside

I’m Dead Inside

From the inimitable mind of London-based Dan Britt comes a tale of deep internal contemplations, existentialism and ultimate self acceptance, all set to a very catchy 80’s-style synth-pop tune in his animated short I’m Dead Inside.

Alpha Squadron

Alpha Squadron

(PG-13: Language) Michael Lukk Litwak’s lighthearted science fiction short film introduces us to the elite fighters of Alpha Squadron just as they lose one of their own to pursue a new life, and ends up with a team member without quite the same abilities. The low-budget, practical visual effects add to its charm.

Negative Space

Negative Space

Ru Kuwahata & Max Porter’s Oscar-nominated, stop-motion animated short film explores the bond between a son and his father, in which they built the entirety of their relationship through the fastidious and precise packing of suitcases.

The Redness of Red

The Redness of Red

Emily Downe’s animated short film explores the notion that our brains and eyes have a tendency to anthropomorphize even rudimentary forms, and how we might react as artificial intelligence becomes more and more humanoid, regardless of whether or not they are living beings.

Yarrow: The Virtues of Monochrome

Yarrow: The Virtues of Monochrome

Untitled Film Works’ short about one artist’s creative process becomes a film about three artists. At once, it’s a glimpse inside the mind of fine art photographer David Yarrow as he seeks the perfect shot in South Georgia, while showcasing the vision of directors and cinematographers Abraham Joffe ACS and Dom West.

The Moon’s Milk

The Moon’s Milk

It took over seven years for Ri Crawford and his co-creators to make this stop-motion animated short, but the finished film was well worth the wait. Narrated by Tom Waits, it takes us on a fantastical journey with Captain Millipede and his crew to harvest the milk seeping from craters on the moon as it hovers incredibly close to the Earth.

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