8 REMARKABLE SHORT FILMS
To Watch Now
These days, short videos fill our social media streams. They are often spur-of-the-moment or small glimpses into the lives of everyday people. Rarely are they a complete story, nor do they leave us with a lasting impression, positive or negative. However, short films do. Since George Méliès gave us Trip to the Moon in 1902, short films have been entertaining, enlightening, and inspiring audiences. And these 8 Remarkable Short Films do, too.
The Academy Awards defines a short film “as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.” They include two categories: Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film. However, other organizations expand the time limit to 60 minutes.
Screenwriters and directors face the challenge of developing characters, a complete plot in a short time frame while also informing and entertaining the audience. Where feature-length motion pictures have a minimum of 41 minutes to do all these things, they also face the challenge of keeping our attention. These 8 Remarkable Short Films fulfill all these requirements in under 40 minutes.
1500 Words (2014) directed by Andrew Chaplin
This humorous film takes the topic of brevity seriously. It features a man who has just received the devastating news that his life will end in 1500 words and focuses on how he will spend those last few precious words with his wife. If you had only 1500 words left, how would you spend them?
Two Strangers Meet Five Times (2017) directed by Marcus Markou
How many strangers do you meet every day? Did something they say or do change your life for a day, a week, or a year? Would you remember their faces if you met again? Markou’s 2017 film introduces us to two strangers, their encounters and the impact each has on the other’s life.
Helium (2013) directed by Anders Walter
In this short by Danish filmmaker Anders Walter, a hospital’s balloon animal-making janitor fills the last days of a dying boy with an imaginary world called Helium. The film is filled with colorful scenes of this fantastical world and poignant moments of compassion for a lost childhood.
Zion (2018) directed by Floyd Russ
The only documentary on this list of 8 Remarkable Short Films, Zion shares the story of Zion Clark. In 1997, Clark was born with no legs. The film documents Clark’s strength, struggles, resilience, and victories and provides an inspiring story of determination and love.
Geri’s Game (1997) directed by Jan Pinkava
Not to be confused with Stephen King’s novel Gerald’s Game, this Pixar Animation Studios’ film won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The film features Geri who goes to the park to play chess. Like most Pixar movies, the film is engaging and full of subtle elements that bring the whole story together.
A Dog’s Life (1918) directed by Charlie Chaplin
The oldest film on the list stars the pantomiming Charlie Chaplin who plays the Tramp. Living on the street, Tramp’s humorous adventures take a turn when he rescues a stray dog he named Scrap. The film showcases an era of film that has long passed but was instrumental to today’s movie-making.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2012) directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
The award-winning film is the second animated film on this list and tells the story of a book-loving Mr. Morris Lessmore. It is inspired by the real-life publisher, William Morris and drew further inspiration from actor Buster Keaton as well as two films: the 1928 film Steamboat Bill and 1939’s The Wizard of Oz.
Zamboni Man (2004) directed by Seth Henrikson
Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water, Nine Perfect Strangers) plays Walt, a Zamboni driver and keeper of the ice rink. After grooming the ice to perfection, Walt attends to the rest of the facility. Once the rink is quiet, a figure skater practices in the after-hours quiet and under the admiring eye of Walt.