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Short Film The Arrival

They’re especially worth your time because they take up so little of it.

Short films might be shorter in length than feature films, but they are no less powerful in their storytelling. Since 2007, the website Short of the Week has been the perfect platter for serving up new selections of bite-sized brilliance each week.

Short of the Week places its films into three categories — genre, topic and style — which allows your searches to be more specific.

The following short films that are available on the website are immensely impressive and well worth your time.

1. “Sight”

The eight-minute sci-fi short film follows a man going on a first date with the help of a virtual wingman app installed on his technologically enhanced contact lenses and is told through special FX.

The man’s dependence on the app highlights the dangers of using augmented reality in daily life. There is no part of his side of the conversation with his date that is not influenced by his wingman.

Short Film Sight
“Sight” uses special FX to depict augmented reality in the dating world. (Image via Edgy Labs)

The tone and concept feel as if they were taken straight out of an episode of “Black Mirror.” Cool special effects and neon shades of blues really emphasize the futuristic element.

Directed by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo, “Sight” is their 2012 graduation project from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel.

2. “The Arrival”

The four-minute 2016 drama captures the deliberation of a young woman in a cafe deciding whether or not to keep her baby. In a single tracking shot, she puts on a masterful performance of just facial expressions as her narration takes us on her emotional journey.

Having such a perfectly centered, static frame allows for the director to pick and choose exactly what he wants the audience to see and hear. In the short film, nothing that happens in the foreground and in the background is by accident.

The Arrival,” written and directed by Daniel Montanarini, won the Women’s Prize of the sixth edition of the Le Temps Presse Festival in Paris.

3. “North Atlantic”

There is nothing fancy about this 15-minute drama. There is beauty in its simplicity: just two men having a pleasant conversation while one of them faces his impending demise.

The white dot of the lost plane flying against a pitch black sky emphasizes just how alone the pilot is out there above the North Atlantic, but he is not lonely because he has his new friend, the air-traffic controller.

Short Film North Atlantic
“North Atlantic” is based on a true story of a lone pilot and an air traffic controller. (Image via Vimeo)

There is no soundtrack except for the music that they create together. While the characters tug on guitar strings, the poignancy of the story tugs on your heartstrings.

Written and directed by Bernardo Nascimento, “North Atlantic” was chosen as an Official Selection for the 2010 BFI London Film Festival.

4. “There’s a Man in the Woods”

The four-minute dark comedy, “There’s a Man in the Woods,” uses clean animation and free verse poetry to tell the cautionary tale of the unintended consequences of one little boy’s fabrications.

Short Film There's a Man in the Woods
One reviewer said, “[The animation] felt a perfect fit to the narration, although for me it is definitely Streilein’s writing and the Ho’s delivery that makes it.” (Image via YouTube)
The unsettling poem is also a commentary on how neglectful parents still think that they know better than the teacher and that their precious angel can do no wrong.

Written, animated and directed by Jacob Streilein, the 2014 short film is his graduation project from the California Institute of the Arts in California.

5. “Long Branch”

Long Branch” is only a 14-minute experience for the audience, but for the young couple just trying to have a successful one-night stand, it is a two-hour bus ride.

Although the woman is cold and unfriendly with initially unspoken reasons behind her bitterness, the man does his best to make the most out of their time together. In the middle of winter, the two eventually warm up to each other.

Short Film Long Branch
“Long Branch” is based on the writing and directing couple and their experience taking a lot of public transportation at the start of their relationship. (Image via Short Film Window)

Even when the expedition seems bleak, the music is there to remind the audience that this is a lighthearted film. Awkward and adorable, “Long Branch” showcases a sweet budding romance.

Spouses Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark wrote and directed the film, which has won several festivals, including Best Short at the 2011 Calgary International Film Festival.

6. “Jackpot”

Jackpot” is a nine-minute film that takes “coming-of-age” to a whole new meaning. Set in 1994, when the internet was still in its infancy and people were a bit more closed-minded, 14-year-old Jack Hoffman goes on a mission to find gay porn. Chased by bullies and a visual representation of his own subconscious, Jack will not get off that easy.

Short Film Jackpot
Filmmaker Adam Baran hopes the success of the short will lead to a feature-length film. (Image via Huffington Post)

The 2010 comedy was written and directed by Adam Baran and won several festivals, including Best Short Film at the 2013 Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Baran told The Huffington Post that “the film was shot in my hometown, in my bedroom and in a parking lot where I was bullied myself.”

7. “Fool’s Day”

It’s April Fools’ Day. What could go wrong? For this class of elementary school kids, a lot of things. What starts off as an innocent prank quickly descends into chaos.

The 19-minute film blends comedy and horror together seamlessly with brilliant timing, quality acting and tasteful gore.

Short Film Fool's Day
In “Fool’s Day,” the fourth graders are less bothered by the disaster than by getting caught by the school’s rent-a-cop. (Image via YouTube)

Cody Blue Snider wrote, edited and directed “Fool’s Day.” The 2013 comedy short has won multiple festivals, including the Golden Space Needle Award for Best Short Film at the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival.

Writer Profile

Caitlyn Conville

Bergen Community College

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