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ONLY THE BEST SHORT FILMS


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Film of the Week: Helium by Anders Walter


Helium by Anders Walter (2013) (Denmark) (23m)

Helium won the Best Short Film Oscar in 2014. It is a touching and beautifully made short film about a terminally ill boy, Alfred, who is not particularly enamoured with the prospect of Heaven. The new janitor invents an alternative place called Helium, which is more to Alfred's liking, and forms a relationship with the boy. Anders Walter went on to make the feature film I Kill Giants starring Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar).

The Shore

Boogaloo And Graham by Michael Lennox (2014) (UK) (14m)

Nominated in 2015, Boogaloo And Graham tells the story of two boys growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, whose father saves two male chickens from a hatchery and gives them to the boys. When their mother falls pregnant, she insists that the chickens must go to avoid endangering the health of her unborn baby. However, the two boys are determined to save the chickens from the chopping board. How will their father find a compromise?

The Shore

The Naughty List by Paul Campion (2016) (USA) (9m)

A competition finalist, The Naughty List reminds us that Santa Claus will visit all the world's children on Christmas Eve, even if the child in question - Vince - is an adult mobster hiding out with his partner-in-crime in a secluded cabin. The problem is that Vince's partner does not believe in Santa Claus and, fearing the stranger could be a hitman, is tempted to put a slug in him. For his part, Santa Claus is no saint, but how will this unusual situation end, and will the rest of the world's children get their presents tonight?

Small Deaths

Argentine Tangos by Guy Thys (2006) (Belgium) (14m)

Arguably the best Christmas short film yet made, Argentine Tangos (Tanghi Argentini), was nominated for a Best Short Film Oscar in 2008. In Argentine Tangos, a beautiful comedy drama full of Christmas spirit, we follow a middle-aged office-worker trying to fulflil his Christmas passion and conceal a snowy-white lie. I promise you will thank me for showing it to you. It is in Dutch with English subtitles.


City Lights by Ed Wiles (2016) (UK) (9m)

City Lights is a romantic comedy about a nighttime security guard in a London office tower who finds a unique way to gain the attention of a cleaner in an opposite tower. But with his job on the line, will he be able to invite her for an early morning coffee? An almost entirely dialogue-free short film, with seemless VFX, City Lights premiered at the LA Shorts Fest in 2016 before playing at many more major international festivals.

Feast of Stephen


The Market Hemanth Srinivasan (2017) (India) (9m)

The Market (Sandhai) won the Best Indian Short Film award in the FILMSshort Competition. The Market tells the story of a man selling body organs on the black market, who finds himself the target of his own trade because of his rare blood type. However, he has a plan to meet the demand without harming himself. Set in one location, it is a complex story well-acted by the Tamil-speaking cast.

Goodbye

Bus 44

Dawit by David Jansen (2015) (Germany) (15m) *

Winner of the Best Short Animation Award in the FILMSshort Competition, the dialogue-free Dawit (or Daewit) was also a huge hit on the festival circuit. The baby Dawit lives with his violent father and fearful mother on a small island, before his mother decides his best chance of survival is elsewhere, so puts him in a tiny boat and sends him out to sea. Washed up on a beach, Dawit is brought up by a pack of wolves before humans intervene. But can Daewit live in our human world and can he forget his dark past?


Adam

Thunder Road by Jim Cummings (2016) (USA) (13m)

Cummings plays a grieving cop, Jimmy, who is the only one of three siblings to turn up for his mother's funeral. After delivering a heartfelt though often rambling eulogy, he decides to pay tribute to his mother by dancing to her favourite track: Thunder Road by Bruce Springstein. The result does of course make for uncomfortable viewing. It would be hard to argue that there is a lot of story in this short film, or that it is laugh-out-loud funny, but the monologue and acting really is superb, the awkwardness tangible and its simplicity impressive.


Gnome by Sacha Goedegebure (2016) (Holland/Singapore) (4m) *

Gnome was a hit on the film festival circuit before winning the BEST SHORT SHORT FILM AWARD (under 5 minutes) in the FILMSshort competition. The film explores the idea that no good deed goes unpunished when a kindly gnome decides to help out a hungry caterpillar unable to reach the leaves on a branch outside his treehouse. Having cut down some leaves for the caterpillar, the gnome finds the young creature something of a loud eater. Desperate for some sleep, the gnome must try to find a solution to his noise problem.


The Jigsaw by Al-Safar Bros. (2014) (UK/Portugal) (8m)

The Jigsaw has added FILMSshort's Best BAME Short Film Award to those it garnered on the festival circuit. It is a classic horror with a sting in its tail, in which an ageing loner insists on buying a jigsaw despite there being no picture of what it will be and the shopkeeper warning him it always ends up back in the store. When the elderly gentleman gets it to his remote coastal house, he quickly gets to work on it. However, it soon becomes apparent that there is a reason why the box had no picture on it.

The Shore

The Disappearance of Willie Bingham by Matt Richards (2015) (Aus) (12m)

The Disappearance of Willie Bingham is a truly disturbing short film. The eponymous Willie is languishing in prison having killed a wife and mother. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system allows for his victim's family to demand that Willie have a limb amputated as part of his punishment. Willie can then be used as an example to Australian children not to partake in crime. However, the victim's family can demand the removal of another limb. And another.


Secrets by Phinehas Hodges (2017) (USA) (10m)

A FILMSshort competition finalist, Secrets is a brilliantly acted drama in which a couple reveal increasingly deep secrets. The tone is comical to begin with as they admit to past misdeeds, but their revelations become increasingly personal until the woman admits to harbouring more unsettling secrets. Her boyfriend is unsure how to react to the bombshells, causing an abrupt breakdown in communication. Has the woman's brutal honesty ruined the relationship?

Musafir

Last Call Lenny by Julien Lasseur (2016) (USA) (12m)

Last Call Lenny did very well on the short film festival circuit, and is now a finalist in the FILMSshort competition. It tells the story of Gabe, who has decided to end his life, but needs a little help. Lenny offers his services for people in such a situation. However, the talkative Lenny does not like to make things too simple, and also has to avoid being the one to actually pull the trigger. It seems that Lenny is a disaster looking for somewhere to happen.



Films marked * contain no dialogue. Search the entire website below

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