SHORTS UNDER 10

Featured Animation: HATE FOR SALE

Every so often I come across a short film that I will silently pass on to my fellow film loving friends. Key word: silently. I don’t need to try to sale the film or wax poetic about this or that, over using filmic language with my signature heavy-handed verbosity. No, sometimes I come across a true gem that doesn’t require my word vomit explanations. It takes just a simple: “Watch this. Trust me.”  This is exactly what I did after watching Anna Eijsbouts’ stop-motion cut out animation “Hate for Sale”. Created for the 2017 Visible Poetry Project using an original poem by Neil Gaiman, this short manages to sum up the world we live in, in just under 3 minutes. Eijsbouts’ chaotic, multi-colored style mixed with Gaiman’s honest text creates sheer, gorgeous magic. It’s cruel, unique, and brutally true. It’s beautiful and arresting. The harsh words about the state of society and our sadly inherent lust for hatefulness in contrast with narrator Peter Kenny’s theatrical yet comforting voice and the film's visual puppet master controlled carnival-esque world is pretty much perfect in a way you have to watch to totally grasp. Just a few days before discovering this film, I spent a morning at a puppet theater. It was like disappearing into a totally different world, full of strings and illusions. Like the 20+ other 3-year-old audience members, I was entranced, fooled even. Now, after a few viewings of “Hate for Sale”, I feel like I finally get it. I see the control that societal expectations have over us. It took a 2.5 min short and a Park Slope puppet theater to truly open my eyes. We all need to cut some strings.  So, yes, it seems I’ve run away again with my words! Neil Gaiman himself tweeted that he watched and “was floored”. And that’s enough for me. Just: Watch this. Trust me.  

Featured Short: "The Boy with a Camera for a Face"

Writer/Director Spencer Brown's short film "The Boy with a Camera for a Face" is like a satirical moving image poem. With a sing-songy narration voiced by Steven Berkoff, this fairy tale story hits both humorous and sad points while also being emotionally telling of the media-driven society we live in today. The film starts out quite straightforward from its title to its content. We literally follow the highs and lows of the tale of a boy that is born with a camera in place of his head. However, despite the surface deep translation of its title, the film's surprising emotions and ending make this a rare breed of short film that is well worth multiple watches. The deeper message embedded within the entertainment aspect of the film also serves to make us question the role of media, video documentation, and reality TV on our future.With a hint of Jeunet but a style and vibe all its own, this award-winning short meshes words and imagery effortlessly to create a spell-binding fairy tale of a product. A beautiful addition to his success, be sure to check out Brown's other work here.Also, while you're at it, check out more of the most innovative shorts on the web! 

Featured Stop Motion Animated Short: "Los Rosales"

Winner of the Young Director Award at Cannes 2015 and Best Animated Film at the 2014 Palm Springs International ShortFest, filmmaker Daniel Ferreira's mini robotic masterpiece "Los Rosales" is an ode to the strength of survival. This beautifully animated and scored debut short film follows the tale of a humble, solitary robot that exists within a repetitive cycle. As he turns wheels and cogs all day in order to procure his only means of survival, he soon finds a way to break free and feed his heart instead.Ferreira's elaborate usage of stop motion animation helps him to create a new and strange little world that is unlike many others on screen. Made using cardboard, scrap computer parts and wire, he turned old things into new possibilities. Do yourself a favor and check out the film here and while you're at it, why not check out the special making of video to learn more about the process behind the creation of this world.Be sure to also check out more of the best animated short films on the web here!

Featured Short "Blood Drinker" Follows Tale of Unlikely

With high energy and a "bloody" unexpected conclusion, "Blood Drinker" packs in a wallop of a narrative in an extremely short running time. Our hip, moral hero Mikey, an insulted elderly dog named Blood Drinker, and a rather rude gang of men called the Coke Boys (donned in sweet Coca-Cola sweatshirts) make up this quirky yet straight to the point short film. Be warned, the film leaves you with an ending totally out of left field but just as satisfying as a swig of soda when you know it's bad for you.  Currently working on their first feature, it seems a total given that the Stas Brothers are sure to produce a hit based on the success of their prior work. It's just a question of how great and how weird that success will be! Check out some more of the most unique short films currently available!

"Inheritance": A Tale of An Unlikely Form of Magic

From documentaries (including his recent Sheffield Doc/Fest winner "Dear Araucaria") to the highly imaginative and low key hilarious narrative found within "Inheritance", director Matt Houghton's talents seem to naturally cover the full storytelling spectrum. "Inheritance" follows the story of Joe, a man that finds himself gaining an unlikely sort of inheritance as well as an appreciation for the unexpected. Punchy, short, smartly written, and crisply shot, this creatively kooky short film is definitely worth the quick watch. Be sure to check out Pulse Films' other unicorn-centric short film to get a glimpse into this weirdly magical yet totally nonchalant universe. The comedic, award-winning "Cool Unicorn Bruv", directed by Ninian Doff,  is also available on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/58207848) and is a must watch for any unicorn obsessed film lover. If there was ever a platform and time to bring true awareness to the world of unicorn appreciation within short films, it would appear to be here and now! Check out more of the best short films on the web.

"Hasta La Vista": Exploring The Most Unlikely Earworm

Matt Kazman and Matt Porter's short "Hasta La Vista" is one of those films that may make you cringe as much as cheer. While cringing and laughing at the same time may look questionable, there's no questions about this film: it's a cracking good time from beginning to end. When socially awkward Andy (Josh Rabinowitz) offends his unlikely love interest at a party by confusing an obvious insult with a nursery rhyme about hippos, he embarks on a journey to clear his name and find the answer behind the hippo of all tunes. Little does he know, the answer literally sings to him in the most unlikely of places. Far from a nursery rhyme, will Andy ever discover the source of his anxiety and get the girl? With a longer running time of around 22 minutes, "Hasta La Vista" works well because it makes perfect usage of its length by spending plenty of time building its characters and setting them into motion. What starts as a party film quickly morphs into a detective film of adorably epic and quirky proportions. A well deserved Vimeo staff pick as well as an official selection at various festivals, including the LES Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival, both Matts, as well as lead actor/writer Josh Rabinowitz and cinematographer Ryan Nethery, definitely make a strong team of talent to be on the lookout for in the near future. "Hips like a hippity hippo" may be one of the most endearing and delightfully underhanded insults to be born from a film script. Be warned, you might find this earworm of a ditty playing in your head long after viewing, but you can trust me in saying that you'll be far from complaining after watching this film. Check out an interview the team did with Paste Magazine here. While you're at it, why not check out some more of the best shorts on the web. 

"Yellow Fever": Kenyan Short Tackles Allure of Whiteness

Kenyan filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii is the type of woman that can be expected to tell bold stories through a multifaceted lens. A sort of mixed-media film showcasing elements of animation, documentary narrative, and dancing, her award winning short film "Yellow Fever" is a beautifully choreographed hodge podge of concepts that weave together in perfect harmony. Using memories and interviews from Mukii's family members, "Yellow Fever" studies Westernization and Globalization's effects on African woman, their understanding of beauty standards and their own self-image. From discussing African hairstyles to skin bleaching trends, the film evolves to become a rather frank portrait. Used as Mukii’s thesis project at London’s Royal College of Art, this Kenyan short was a festival favorite and winner of the Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short at the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival. Interested in the concepts of skin and race as well as studying the destabilized standards of beauty within African communities, Mukii knows her subject well, and for this I believe we can trust her work to start a much needed discussion amongst all audience types. While you're at it, why not check out more of the best (and free!) short films on the web.

New Years Short Film Highlight: "Party Animal"

Former winner of the IFP’s Emerging Visions Award, Adam Bowers successfully envisions and brings to screen a humorously familiar party world with a disturbing side. His fun, party hard short film "Party Animal" introduces us to Chris, a lovable screw up that is both endearing and a sad excuse for an adult. As a man that hasn't quite outgrown his own party animal side, to disastrous results at that, let his story be an entertaining warning for us all this upcoming New Year's Eve. Will we celebrate in joyful moderation or ring in 2016 lost in a beer guzzling, champagne toting haze that would make this hardcore party animal proud?
 

The 116 images NASA wants aliens to see

Voyager 1 and 2 were sent out into space in 1977, and were the first space craft to exit our solar system.  NASA attached a record with photos that will not reach any other star for more than 40,000 years.  If the human race is still in existence, imagine how obselete these photos might actually be if they ever were to reach another alien species!  

You think you know how to party?

This hilarious short comedy "What a Nice Party" puts a dry twist on those awkward ice-breaking social situations.  Writer/Director Matt Ingebretson hit all the right beats with this one, including the party hosts wifi password: "Dickslit27".  Looks like anyone who reads this may be able to hack any accounts we set up from here on out. Thanks for that Matt.  Follow Matt here on Twitter: funny shit.  @mattingebretson

Phil is the Most Powerful Short Documentary Currently Online, Bold

You’ve seen them. Lurking in your Facebook feed, ready to provide you with inspiration and a glimpse into the life of someone else, perhaps someone who lives in Portland and makes artisanal soaps, or perhaps someone who lives in San Francisco and grows a beard competitively, or perhaps someone who lives in Brooklyn and loves run-on sentences spliced together by commas. They are the subjects of profile documentaries — a short doc style that has become so prevalent online that Jim Archer has made a beautiful parody version.

Phil: A Tribute to a Man hits all the correct wrong notes: airy interview presented without context, long meaningful looks into nowhere in particular, and an everyday dude trying to appear far more profound than he really is. It’s also shot and cut together for maximum importance…regardless of whether there’s any of it to be found in what Phil (Joseph Morpugo) is saying. Read more