Awards Season Short Films



A short companion film to Gravity, Aningaaq is 7-minute tale that directly corresponds to a scene in the full length feature.

Directed by Jonas Cuaron, it neatly fills out a conversation from the movie and provides a little story of its own too.

> LFF 2013 review of Gravity
> Official site
> Reviews of Gravity at Metacritic
> Interview with Jonas and Alfonso Cuaron about Ano Una in 2008

Awards Season Short Films

84th Academy Awards: Short Film (Live Action)

Most of this year’s live action shorts are screening in selected cinemas across the world now and will be available on iTunes Stores in 54 countries across the globe beginning February 21st.

A list of where they are showing can be found on the Shorts HD website.

PENTECOST (Peter McDonald and Eimear O’Kane)

The story follows an eleven-year-old boy who is a last-minute call-in by his local church to serve as an altar boy at an important mass.

Technical details are available here.

RAJU (Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren)

The story is about a young couple (Julia Richter and Wotan Wilke Möhring) who arrive in Kolkata, India, to adopt a young child.

The official site is here.

THE SHORE (Terry George and Oorlagh George)

The story of two childhood friends, Joe (Ciarán Hinds) and Paddy (Conleth Hill), who are divided by 25 years of misunderstanding.

The official site has lots of information and Terry George has done a 15 minute interview (highly recommended).

TIME FREAK (Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey)

Time travel comedy in which a an inventor gets the opportunity to relive the same everyday situation.

The film’s Facebook page has a lot of information and the filmmakers recently did an interview with Blog Talk Radio.

Listen to internet radio with 123 Film Easy on Blog Talk Radio

TUBA ATLANTIC (Hallvar Witzø)

Norwegian story comedy about an old man with not long to live who decides to forgive his brother for a disagreement years ago.

The film has a Twitter account (@TubaAtlantic) as does the director (@HallvarW). You can also listen to this interview with him on Soundcloud and check out his Vimeo channel.

Official Oscar site
> Oscar Shorts
> Steve Pond at The Wrap/Reuters on this year’s live action shorts
> Past winners of the Oscar for Live Action Short at Wikipedia

News Short Films

Vimeo Festival + Awards 2012

Video sharing site Vimeo is preparing for its second Festival + Awards.

This is a combination of a film festival and awards ceremony designed to showcase the best in original online video and judges this year include director Edgar Wright, actor James Franco and Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood.

Along with YouTube, the site has proved a valuable outlet for filmmakers of all ages and levels from around the world.

Director of the Vimeo Festival + Awards, Jeremy Boxer recently said:

“The aim of the Vimeo Festival + Awards is to become the gold standard for creative online video. We designed the program to focus on discovering the best new talent and to give that talent a platform that will catapult their careers to the next level. We are proud to reveal our new panel of esteemed judges.”

Submissions are not limited to works that have appeared on Vimeo but the original content must have either premiered online or have been created between July 31, 2010 and February 20th 2012.

Vimeo have said that winners in each category will get a $5,000 grant to make a new film.

The overall winner gets an additional $25,000 grant.

Complete rules and restrictions are available at Vimeo’s award site, so be sure to check them out here.

If you haven’t entered already, submissions close on February 20th, 2012.

Here are last year’s awards:

Here are the links to last years:

This year, it has recruited the following people as judges in these different categories (some of which are new):














> Vimeo Awards Site & Tumblr
> More on Vimeo at Wikipedia

Interesting Short Films

Yosemite HD

Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty have created a stunning time-lapse video of Yosemite National Park in California.

Part of Project Yosemite it was shot on the Canon 5D Mark II with a variety of Canon L and Zeiss CP.2 lenses.

The song used is ‘Outro’ by M83 from the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

This behind the scenes video shows how it was shot:

Project Yosemite
> Find out more about Yosemite National Park at Wikipedia

Amusing Short Films

Michel Gondry’s Taxi Driver

Michel Gondry has done a ‘sweded’ version of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

The term comes from the French director’s Be Kind Rewind (2008) where video store workers (Jack Black and Mos Def) remake films on the cheap or ‘swede‘ them.

In the film the tapes are described as being shipped from Sweden as an excuse to charge higher rental fees and longer wait times.

As part of the marketing campaign for Gondry did a sweded version of the actual movie and now he’s done this version of Scorsese’s classic of urban alienation.

I especially like how he’s done the ‘You talkin’ to me?’ speech.

> Revisiting Taxi Driver
> Blu-ray review of Taxi Driver

Documentaries Interesting Short Films

The Umbrella Man

A new short film by Errol Morris explores why a man was holding an umbrella just a few feet from where President Kennedy was shot in November 1963.

Like his friend Werner Herzog, the famed director has long been fascinated by the events surrounding the JFK assassination.

Morris has written an accompanying piece for the New York Times, in which he says:

For years, I’ve wanted to make a movie about the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Not because I thought I could prove that it was a conspiracy, or that I could prove it was a lone gunman, but because I believe that by looking at the assassination, we can learn a lot about the nature of investigation and evidence.

Why, after 48 years, are people still quarreling and quibbling about this case? What is it about this case that has led not to a solution, but to the endless proliferation of possible solutions?

The only thing I can recommend is that you click here to watch the video as soon as possible.

> NY Times directors statement and video
> More on Errol Morris and the JFK assassination at Wikipedia
> Thoughts on his nw film Tabloid

Short Films

A Year in New York

This short film by Andrew Clancy eloquently documents a year in New York.

Sometimes it is difficult to precisely say why a combination of images and music works, but I think this effectively captures a time and place.

Amongst the familiar imagery of the Big Apple (the Empire State building, Times Square, Central Park) are more surprising shots: Uruguay fans watching the World Cup and a Bond film showing outside in the park.

The music track is ‘We Don’t Eat’ by James Vincent McMorrow, which is free to download from Amazon this month.

> Andrew Clancy at Vimeo
> More on New York at Wikipedia
> Official James Vincent McMorrow site and his Soundcloud page

Short Films

Ray: A Life Underwater

With pirates dominating the box office over the last decade, this short film by director Amanda Bluglass comes as a nice antidote.

A portrait of deep sea diver Ray Ives, it explores his time spent on the sea floor.

Produced and directed by Bluglass, it was edited and shot by Danny Cooke, with dive photography by Neil Hope and music by Tony Higgins.

[via Metafilter]

> Watch it on Vimeo
> Find out more about Plymouth at Wikipedia

Short Films


Move is a short film by Rick Mereki that executes a simple idea brilliantly.

Along with his DOP and producer Tim White, he filmed Andrew Lees in various locations across the world for three shorts: Move, Eat and Learn.

Move is my favourite, as it uses the power of editing and framing to depict global travel in just 1 minute.

As Rick says on his Vimeo page:

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films = a trip of a lifetime.

> Watch Eat and Learn
> Rick Mereki on Vimeo

Short Films

The Mountain

Terje Sorgjerd has posted another timelapse video called The Mountain, with stunning shots of the stars from Teide in the Canary Islands.

Earlier this month he visited the area, a mountain which is one of the prime locations in the world to view the stars.

The Teide Observatories have been there since 1964 and host various telescopes from around the world due to the optimal astronomical viewing conditions.

In this short film Sorgjerd captures the Milky Way galaxy, the mountains of the region and even a sandstorm in the Sahara desert backlit by Grand Canaria.

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

You can see his previous film The Aurora here.

> Terje Sorgjerd on Facebook and Twitter
> Buy the music (“Nuvole bianche”) by Ludovico Einaudi on iTunes

Short Films

The Aurora

Terje Sorgjerd spent a week in Norway capturing the aurora borealis and it has resulted in a stunning short film.

Shot in and around Kirkenes and Pas National Park, which borders Russia, it used an all-in-one motion control dolly.

The music track is “Now We Are Free” by Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer from the Gladiator soundtrack.

> Terje Sorgjerd at Vimeo
> Facebook page for TSO Photography

Interesting Short Films

2011 Egypt Protests

Oliver Wilkins shot some interesting footage of the historic uprisings in Egypt recently before government forces cracked down on anyone with a camera.

A British film maker based in Cairo for the past 12 years, he filmed some of the protests with a GoPro and the Canon 550D.

He says:

As a foreign guest living in Egypt I generally try to steer clear of Egyptian politics. However, what has been happening in Tahrir is totally unprecedented. It’s amazing to see people making signs from anything lying around them in an attempt to get their voices heard

If any news organisations are reading this you can contact him via his website here.

> Oliver Wilkins at Vimeo
> Find out more about the 2011 Egypt Protests at Wikipedia

Festivals Short Films

The Story Beyond The Still

Video sharing site Vimeo and Canon recently held a user-generated contest called The Story Beyond The Still with the aim of helping photographers becoming filmmakers.

The project was crowd-sourced as several shorts, or chapters, and then combined into this 38-minute final version, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival a couple of weeks ago:

The Story Beyond the Still – All Chapters – FINAL COLLABORATIVE FILM from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

> Beyond The Still at Vimeo
> Vimeo blog post about the competition

Interesting Short Films


Mike Randolph recently shot this film showing the tradition of human towers in Catalonia.

In Tarragona in Spain people gather every two years to build human castles (or ‘castells’), a Catalan tradition which originated in the local area around the end of the 18th century.

The sight of humans supporting each other, along with the vibrant colors inside the stadium, make for compelling viewing.

Casteller from Mike Randolph on Vimeo.

> Mike Randolph at Vimeo
> Find out more about Castells and Catalonia over at Wikipedia

Festivals Short Films

YouTube Shorts at Sundance

The official YouTube channel of the Sundance Film Festival is currently screening plenty of shorts, including Gowanus, Brooklyn, which was expanded in to the 2006 feature Half Nelson.

It won the Short Filmmaking Award in 2004 and led to director Ryan Fleck and writer-producer Anna Boden going on to make their debut feature.

> Half Nelson at Wikipedia and IMDb
> Interview with Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden about Half Nelson from 2007

Short Films

Charlie Chaplin on the Moon

A short film which depicts a futuristic cinema experience has already attracted the attention of Hollywood.

37-year old Scottish art director Ben Craig put it together with the help of DOP Richard Mountney and finished it by using software packages such as After Effects and Carrara.

Since it was posted online in December it has caused quite a bit of buzz and led to interest from studios and agents in LA.

> Ben Craig at Vimeo
> More on the story at The Hollywood Reporter

Documentaries Short Films


A short film by Andrew Wonder provides a fascinating glimpse of hidden areas in New York City.

Undercity follows urban historian Steve Duncan as he ventures underground to subway stations, sewers, tunnels where the homeless live and the Williamsburg Bridge.

Shot on a Canon 5D MKII in a raw, handheld style it is surprisngly tense, mainly down to the fact that much of the filming was illicit.

Not only does it look professional, but it has an exciting climax with some stunning shots of the Manhattan skyline.

> Andrew Wonder on Vimeo
> Steve Duncan
> NPR story
> NY Times article on The Wilderness Below Your Feet

Short Films

Idiot With A Tripod

Filmmaker Jamie Stuart captured the recent East Coast blizzard in a short film called Idiot With A Tripod.

Known for his short films and film festival reports, he went out into a snow covered New York and shot a homage to the 1929 short “Man With a Movie Camera“.

Notice the use of the track “Painted Sun In Abstract” , which is from the soundtrack to The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

After editing and uploading it to his Mutiny Co. website, the link to it spread on Twitter and several blogs before Roger Ebert declared:

“This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject. Any professional will tell you the talent exhibited here is extraordinary.”

From there the mainstream media picked it up and it was featured on sites like New York Observer and the Wall Street Journal.

> Ebert on Idiot With A Tripod
> Mutiny Co.
> WSJ article

Interesting Short Films

iSPEC by Joseph Kosinski

A short film based on The Shining demonstrated Joseph Kosinski‘s early talent.

Before directing Tron: Legacy, Kosinski made a name for himself with award-winning commercials and in 2003 he made a short called iSPEC for Apple.

The premise imagines a personal media device and virtual experience which places the viewer within the world of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film.

It is completely computer generated.

You can watch a higher resolution version on Kosinski’s official site (under the ‘Work’ section).

> Joseph Kosinski
> The Shining at the IMDb

Short Films


Logorama is the 16-minute short film that won the Prix Kodak at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars back in March.

Written and directed by H5/ François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain, it tells a story entirely through the use contemporary and historical logos and mascots.

You can watch it here:

> Logorama at the IMDb
> Official site

Short Films

Smallest Shortest Film

Director Anton Corbijn has made the world’s “smallest and shortest film” for the Dutch postal service TNT, from an idea by creative agency KesselsKramer.

The one-second film features actress Carice van Houten and was commissioned as part of a project to “develop new innovations in stamps”, resulting in one which contains 30 frames of film.

Maybe it is just me, but I preferred Control and The American.

> Anton Corjibn
> Kesselskramer

Short Films


Moments is a highly impressive short film directed by William Hoffman which examines some of the random moments that ‘make up life’.

It manages to cram in an incredible amount in under 4 minutes. As a voice says in the film, moments are “that thing …beyond the senses”.

Part of the filmmaking collective Everynone, Hoffman has previously collaborated with Radiolab and NPR on the short Words.

> Everynone
> Radiolab

Interesting Short Films

35mm by Pascal Monaco

This short animated film by Pascal Monaco is called 35mm and is a 2 minute tour through cinema history.

See if you can guess the 35 films they reference throughout.

35mm from Pascal Monaco on Vimeo.

[Via Buzzfeed]

Interesting Short Films

David Lynch’s Lady Blue Shanghai

David Lynch recently directed this short film for Dior called Lady Blue Shanghai.

Essentially a long form advert, it stars Marion Cotillard and Gong Tao, features art direction by John Galliano and was written and directed by Lynch.

Here it is, in two parts:

It isn’t the first time Lynch has worked in advertising. Previously he has directed spots for home pregnancy tests, perfume, cars and cigarettes.

However, I don’t think he’ll be doing one for the iPhone any time soon.

> David Lynch’s official site
> David Lynch at the IMDb and Wikipedia

Documentaries Interesting Short Films

Henry Murals

This short documentary Henry Murals about artist Ryan Henry Ward painting a mural for an elementary school in Seattle is both inspiring and uplifting.

> Official site
> More videos by Adam Bale at Vimeo

Short Films

The Gift by Carl Erik Rinsch

Given that this short film is basically an extended ad for Philips, the mix of CGI and live action is pretty remarkable.

Entitled The Gift, it was directed by Ridley Scott protege Carl Erik Rinsch and plays like a mix of I Am Robot and The Bourne Supremacy.

It is part of the Parallel Lines project from Philips Cinema and Ridley Scott Associates.

[Link via /Film]

Short Films

The White Mountain

An incredibly beautiful short film called The White Mountain by Charles Leung which uses time-lapse photography.

Amusing Interesting Short Films TV

Adam Curtis film on Richard Nixon

This short film by Adam Curtis recently aired on Newswipe with Charlie Brooker and puts forward the argument that we are all becoming like Richard Nixon.

Animation Short Films

The Third & The Seventh

The above short film The Third & The Seventh by Alex Roman is an incredible example of CGI animation. So good in fact, that it doesn’t on first glance look as though it was entirely created on a computer.

It deals with architecture and photography and the following video explains how it was done:

This video also shows how they did a certain shot:

It not only shows how far visual effects have come but also how cheap the tools are to create something that looks stunning.

[Link vis PetaPixel]

Interesting Short Films

Notte Sento

This Italian stop-motion short film is called Notte Sento and was made from over 4500 photos, shot on a Canon EOS 30D camera.

Notte Sento (English subtitles) from napdan on Vimeo.

The description on Buzzfeed is quite apt:

It’s like Before Sunrise but with Italians instead of Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and zero conversation.

[Link via Buzzfeed]

> Find out more about Notte Sento at I Love Cut
> Watch a larger version on Vimeo

Animation Short Films


This is the Pixar short film Presto which is about a magician and his hungry rabbit sidekick.

Interesting Short Films

Beached by Keith Loutit

Beached from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

The above short film is actually Tamarama Beach in Sydney, shot as though it was a model.

The music ‘I Feel Fine‘ by Sonido Lasser Drakar.

Interesting News Short Films

The YouTube Screening Room

YouTube announced last month that they are creating a online resource for filmmakers called The Screening Room.

Check out this promo video:

The idea is that it will be a new platform that will enable independent filmmakers to a wider global audience.

Although the video sharing site already contains a lot of user generated content, this is a new dedicated section that also makes more authored short films to stand out.

Filmmakers can opt for their films to have a ‘Buy Now’ option next to their work for DVD or digital sales and they can then share in the majority of ad revenue generated from views.

To submit you just send and an email with information about your film to [email protected] (although you have to make sure that you own all the digital rights to the work you are submitting).

Each week, four new films will be selected by an editorial panel and then uploaded and highlighted in the Screening Room section.

According to the Associated Press there is already proof that YouTube can help a young filmmaker gain valuable exposure:

“Hopefully as they see thousands of people watching their films, it’s going to be a very eye-opening experience,” said Sara Pollack, YouTube’s film and animation manager.

Among the first eight titles to be showcased are “Love and War,” a stop-motion puppet movie by a Swedish director; the Oscar-nominated short “I Met The Walrus,” about an interview with John Lennon; and “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?” by performance artist Miranda July.

YouTube said people whose clips regularly attract a million viewers can make several thousand dollars a month. The bigger prize can be exposure.

When YouTube featured the nine-minute short “Spider” by Nash Edgerton in February, it became the fifth-best selling short on iTunes, Pollack said.

The creators of the full-length feature “Four Eyed Monsters,” Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, got their break when more than a million YouTube views helped land them a TV and DVD distribution deal, she said.

“They ended up doing really, really well, ironically by putting their film online for free,” Pollack said.

Although it is early days for this venture, I think it is a great idea. Last year when I was at the Cannes Film Festival, I met several people at the Short Film Corner (a section dedicated to directors of shorts) and what struck me was that it was hard to actually get to see their films online or on a DVD.

Although, directors can already upload to sites like MySpace and YouTube, this new section appears to be more filmmaker friendly and makes it easier for quality shorts to get exposure outside the usual avenue of festivals and late night TV slots.

Some of the most recent examples to be showcased are:

For more information check out the submission page of The Screening Room.

> The Screening Room at YouTube
> Interview with Sara Pollack on the FilmCouch podcast
> – Resource for filmmakers
> Short Film Corner at Cannes
> Download the first chapter of Shooting People’s book about Short Films (PDF)

Animation Interesting Short Films

MUTO by Blu

Here is MUTO – the latest wall painted animation by the street artists known as Blu:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

It was made in Buenos Aires and Baden.

> BLU’s official site
> Blu’s blog

Amusing Random Short Films

Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham

Back in the 1970s Telly Savalas (best known for playing Kojak) recorded a series of short films that extolled the virtues of UK cities like Birmingham, Aberdeen and Portsmouth.

I recently came across a Radio 4 show (via the excellent Speechification) about these bizarre and unintentionally hilarious films.

Check out Telly Savalas Looks at Birmingham, England:

Known as ‘quota quickies’, they were a product of the Cinematograph Films Act of 1927 which meant that short films – or supporting features as they were known back then – were subsidised by the government to offset the dominance of the Hollywood main features.

They were made by director Harold Baim who managed to persuade Savalas via his agent – Dennis Selinger of ICM – to provide the voice for these travelogues.

What makes it even funnier is that Savalas never even visited the locations he is waxing lyrical about.

You can listen to the Radio 4 show here or download it as an MP3 here.

> Find out more about Telly Savalas at Wikipedia
> Radio 4 page for Telly Savalas and the Quota Quickies
> The Baim Collection

Events London Film Festival Short Films

London Film Festival 2007: TCM Classic Shorts Competition

One of the events at the festival that helps give filmmakers a foot on the industry ladder is the TCM Classic Shorts competition.

TCM Shorts competition at the NFT

Throughout the year short films are submitted and five then get shortlisted for the prestigious prize sponsored by TCM.

Last night I went along to the NFT1 to see the five finalists and they were:

A Bout De Truffe (Directed and produced by Tom Tagholm): A highly amusing and inventive comedy done in French about a truffle hunter and his pig.

Always Crashing in the Same Car (Directed by Duncan Wellaway and produced by Zoe Ball): A black comedy set over one night about two very influential men who hate each other.

Perfect to Begin (Directed by Richard Lawson and produced by Tina Gharavi): A drama about a couple who go on a holiday that soon descends into a mess.

Cocoon (Directed by Hana Tsutsumi and produced by Daniel Silber): A drama about a young child trapped in an apartment with body of his dead mother and the post man who delivers letters to the building.

Signals (Directed by Anders Habenicht and produced by Joel Burman): A dark tale of a girl attacked and raped in a Swedish park and another girl who finds a mobile near the crime scene.

The Amazing Trousers (Directed by William F Clark and produced by Andy Kemble and Jason Delahunty): A comic tale set in Edwardian England about a pair of red trousers that transform the life of a man who wears them.

All of the films were of a good standard but the three stand outs for me were: A Bout De Truffe, which was highly inventive, well acted and very funny; Signals, which was disturbing but had an innovative narrative twist; and Always Crashing in the Same Car, which was notable for its widescreen lensing and the reuniting of Richard E Grant and Paul McGann for the first time since Withnail and I.

The panel of judges (which included Simon Pegg, Lasse Hallstrom, Kevin MacDonald, Cillian Murphy, Stephen Woolley, Jason Solomons and Wendy Ide) sort of agreed with me as they went for:

1st Prize: A Bout De Truffe
2nd Prize: Always Crashing in the Same Car
3rd Prize: Perfect to Begin

If you want to check out the short films you can view them at the TCM Classic Shorts website.

But if any of the organisers are reading this, how about putting the entries online next year and taking a public vote as well as the one from the selected judges?

UPDATE: Andrew Collins was the MC for the evening and he has written about the event on his blog.

> Watch all the films online at the TCM Shorts website
> Links to short film sites at The Guardian

Cannes Festivals Interviews Short Films

Cannes Interview – Rob Johnson

The Short Film Corner is the area at the Cannes Film Festival where filmmakers who have made short films gather together.

Short Film Corner

Flyers for hundreds of short films adorn the walls as people try to get their work more exposure at the festival.

Filmmakers at Short Film Corner

Directors from all over the world submit films for inclusion in the Short Film Competition and to meet fellow directors.

Rob Johnson

It was there that I met Rob Johnson who has made a short called Sometimes the  Smallest Places.

We hooked up later at The Grand Hotel to discuss the film and his experience bringing it over to Cannes.

Listen to the interview here:


> Subscribe to the Interview Podcast via iTunes
> Download the interview as an MP3 file (just right click, save as and rename the file)
> Check out the official website for Sometimes the Smallest Places
> The MySpace page for Sometimes the Smallest Places
> Official site for Short Film Corner