THE BEST Short Films

In Russia

In Russia

Filmmakers Vincent Urban, Max Neumeier & Tim David H?ddinghaus of 27km created this amazing short film that offers a glimpse into the vast and varied nation of Russia. From the cosmopolitan chaos of Moscow to the icy and unspoiled Lake Baikal, the film is like a candy sampler box packed with all kinds of tasty visuals.

Hurrah

Hurrah

Zita and Rafael of Zurich-based animation studio Crictor love to make super-short videos with the goal of making people smile. Previously, they used a blow torch to pop a single kernel of popcorn; now they’re celebrating the new year by blowing streamers into the air with a hairdryer.

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Coffee Run

Coffee Run

This animated short film plays out like a side-scroller action game, but the level design isn’t just some background scenery. Instead, the story of its protagonist’s tragic past relationship are recalled as she runs through the stages, fueled by a blast of caffeine. From director Hjalti Hjalmarsson and Blender Animation Studio.

Freeze Frame

Freeze Frame

This stop-motion animated short film by Soetkin Verstegen is an abstract journey to a place where workers are tasked with retrieving ice and preserving it before it melts. As they move the blocks, the creatures living inside are reanimated. It doesn’t follow a traditional plot but does a great job placing us in its chilly universe.

Dry Out

Dry Out

Water is critical to the survival of almost all living things. This fascinating time-lapse short film by Christian Stangl provides a close-up look at what happens to organics as they run out of moisture. Stangl captured the images using a combination of macro lenses and microscopes. View a selection of stills on Flickr.

Rain Dogs

Rain Dogs

Head to the Pacific Northwest in this epic snowboarding film from KORUA Shapes. The black-and-white photography evokes quite the mood as boarders take to the slopes in the days before the pandemic lockdown. The title is based on the nickname for Washington state’s Ranier Beer, which served as lubricant for the cast and crew.

Star Boat: “Star Date”

Star Boat: “Star Date”

Dan is a man on a mission to find his match while in space. After searching relationship sites, he finally managed to score a date. But it’s not what he had hoped for. Austen Reeder’s short clip is every bit as weird and warped as we’ve come to expect from Adult Swim SMALLS. Take more Star Boat journeys here.

The Coin

The Coin

Each Chinese New Year, a girl receives a lucky coin in one of her dumplings. After years of collecting the coins, she loses them and has an unsettling experience during her journey to a new land. Siqi Song’s stop-motion short is a beautifully-animated allegory about leaving home and adjusting to a new culture.

No, I Don’t Want to Dance!

No, I Don’t Want to Dance!

(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.

The Bill Jennings Mysteries

The Bill Jennings Mysteries

“I once saw him twirl a couch on a single finger.” Animator Alan Jennings introduces us to Mr. Bill Jennings, a man from Newbury, Vermont with some extraordinary talents and experiences under his belt. The charming short film reminds us that everyone has a story to tell, no matter how ordinary they might look on the surface.

Russian Cyberpunk Farm

Russian Cyberpunk Farm

Sergey Vasiliev decided he had enough of the old “in Soviet Russia” trope which represents his country as technologically backward. Incorporating some clever visual effects, his brilliant short film imagines a Russian farm where everything is running on the latest tech. The footage reminds us of the work of Simon St?lenhag.

The Hermit

The Hermit

Zeppelin Zeerip’s offbeat short film owes more than a bit to the style of Wes Anderson, telling the story of a group of young men who head into the snowy mountains of Idaho in search of an elusive Hermit who escaped from an asylum. It’s an unexpected blend of winter sports action and quirky indie film tropes.

Nobody Is Normal

Nobody Is Normal

One of the worst parts of childhood is feeling like you don’t fit in. In director Catherine Prowse’s animated short promo for UK children’s charity Childline, they remind us that there is no such thing as “normal” and if we all let our freak flags fly and accepted our differences, the world would be a better place.

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Mokapzu Park

Mokapzu Park

Art&Graft envisions a future in which most of the world’s animal and plant species have gone extinct, and science attempts to recreate these lost creatures through a combination of genetic engineering and motion capture. It’s like Jurassic Park, only much, much sillier.

Mercury’s Retrograde

Mercury’s Retrograde

Animator Zohar Dvir’s short film takes us inside the mind of a perplexed millennial who seeks answers to life’s questions. When she turns to her Magic 8 Ball, she ends up pulled deep into a hallucinogenic dream world that starts between her couch cushions.

2020: An Isolation Odyssey

2020: An Isolation Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey evokes quite the sense of isolation as HAL 9000 picks off the Discovery One’s crew, then Dave Bowman has a quiet, hallucinogenic trip. Filmmaker Lydia Cambron’s dark parody explores the parallels between Kubrick’s universe and the one we’ve been living in since the pandemic started in 2020.

IN_BOX

IN_BOX

Animator Michael Marczewski presents an exceptionally blocky short film in which e-mails manifest themselves as tiny cubes that walk between computers. As the messages cross back and forth between two co-workers, things go off the rails when objects get in the way and corrupt their communications.

Candy Shop

Candy Shop

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.

A Night in Camp Heebie Jeebie

A Night in Camp Heebie Jeebie

As the girls of Camp Heebie Jeebie share their creepy ghost stories, things take a turn and their creations start to come to life. Animator Dylan Chase’s comedic horror short has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, along with exceptional character design and storytelling.

The Surrogate

The Surrogate

While on his way to a date with his girlfriend, a man carelessly destroys a mysterious creature’s nest, which then invades his body. But that’s not the worst thing that happens to the guy in this extraordinarily creepy and atmospheric animated short film by Stas Santimov.

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Halloween Is Canceled

Halloween Is Canceled

It’s October 31, and a deranged serial killer is on the loose. But this horror movie cliche is having a crummy day because it’s 2020, and nobody is out trick-or-treating. Then, he encounters something even more terrifying than he usually scares up. The short that Andrew Kasch created for Just Scare Me is good for a Halloween chuckle.

Kill Your Idioms

Kill Your Idioms

“Killing two birds with one stone is actually harder than murdering them one after another.” Grant Kolton’s snarky animated short pokes fun at common English idioms like “You can’t judge a book by its cover” and reminds us that they’re not all to be taken as gospel.

Autonomous

Autonomous

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.

Passing Time at the Beach

Passing Time at the Beach

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.

Avarya

Avarya

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? G?kalp G?nen’s short film is a thought-provoking and creative work of science fiction with a fantastic style and mood.

What Happened to Crow 64?

What Happened to Crow 64?

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?

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