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