"Is Mourad okay? Did he get there okay?" There is so much power in short filmmaking. Uno is another extraordinary example of a short film that hits you hard and it takes place entirely on one small fishing boat. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Javier Marco, this short film has been winning awards at film festivals all over the world for the past two years and is now available to watch online. Many filmmakers recently have been making films about the refugee crisis, and each one of the films is vital and important. This one is just as meaningful, crafted with empathy and understanding. These are all people with families and dreams and hopes, too. Uno stars Pedro Casablanc and Manuel Toro. A must watch 10-minute short - view it below.
"See this guy right here?" If you've already seen Uncut Gems five (or six or nine?) times, and are desperate for more Safdie cinema - you're in luck. The Safdie Brothers debuted this surprise short film Goldman v Silverman online and it's just as amusing and clever as all their other feature films. Adam Sandler stars as Rod "Goldman", and Benny Safdie plays Al "Silverman" - two spray-painted, robot street performers in Times Square who get into a fight one night. This short seems inspired by real fights between these cheesy street performances (the guy dressed as Spider-Man got into a big fight in 2015). The Safdies' also tweeted that they are "working on showing this in theaters that are showing Uncut Gems on 35mm, on 35 as a post show." Starting at the Metrograph in NYC to start. It's rather refreshing to see Sandler doing work like this.
"Izzy was a good frog!" Who doesn't love wacky animation? Mushroom Park is an animated short film by Tim Rauch, one half of the animation duo Rauch Brothers. Two friends locked in a love-hate relationship bury a dead frog as rain beings to fall. They make a fateful decision to wait out the storm under a tree and wake up in a world quite unlike the one they left behind. Rauch reveals his inspiration: "We all screw up from time to time and need a second chance – because life is short and love is all we have." Featuring the voices of Betsy Sodaro and Shondalia White. This has a distinct "Ren & Stimpy" / "Looney Tunes" style, which isn't so common anymore making it exciting to see. It's such a unique short, entirely worth your time.
"In order to wish for something you need, you gotta wish for something you fear. Otherwise that first wish goes away." Yet another tense, low key horror short film from Todd Spence & Zak White. The two have been cooking up under-5-minute, low budget horror shorts for the last few years - including Where Is It and last year's Your Date is Here. Fear Wish is their latest short and it's about a desperate man trying to wish for something he needs. Starring Nathan Sutton, with Scott Whyte and Amy McRoberts. I really enjoy their shorts because they're so simple but effective, taking a jump scare and clever concept and wrapping it with some quality writing. They're not reinventing the horror-short-wheel, but they are always fun to watch.
"We are the cleaners. As were our fathers. We purify the world. One day our children will breathe…" Neill Blomkamp's experimental sci-fi filmmaking collective Oats Studios has surprised us all with a brand new short film titled Migrants. After making their own series of short films, Oats sort of moved on because they couldn't secure enough funding and figure out how to move forward independently. But they're back again with what they've self-described as "Oats Studios Presents Short Films From Artists We Love." Migrants is a short film by Paul Chadeisson, a concept artist who has envision a three-minute short with some stunning CGI visuals of spaceships and space stations hovering above a planet awaiting immigrants. As a space nerd, this is my kind of sci-fi: Isaac Asimov references, and a lovely poetic voiceover about colonizing the cosmos.
Uh oh! What if all the Terminators got mixed up and were sent back in time and started hunting each other? That's the concept for this short film / fan mashup titled TS: TERMINATORS. Made by French filmmaker Fabrice Mathieu, he combines footage from all of the Terminator movies to create a brand new short about T-800s targeting each other. His "tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator." It is impressive, the footage all syncs up and works together in just the right way to make this entertaining and thrilling to watch. It's cool that someone can take all kinds of existing footage and mash it up in a creative way to make something new, a great example of how editing matters so much making movies. Fire it up below and enjoy.
"Wolfs are cunning and hunt in packs, always on the lookout for an easy prey." This is another exceptional example of how animation opens the door for so much creativity and ingenuity. Lupus is a short film made by Colombian director Carlos Gómez Salamanca, an experimental animator / filmmaker with his second short film. This one was produced and made in France, despite taking place in Colombia. The short tells the true story of a watchman attacked by a pack of over 20 stray dogs wandering the outskirts of Bogotá. Carlos explains: "The whole Lupus project was structured from this news [story], trying to show a broad context about the expansion of the city and the sad condition of stray dogs." Worth a watch to see a film this unique.
"Initiate Project_Osprey." Skywatch is a fun, gripping sci-fi short film that is worth a quick watch. This is made by independent filmmaker Colin Levy, who previously worked at Pixar as a Camera & Staging Artist before jumping full-time into filmmaking himself. Skywatch isn't just a clever short, it's also a showcase for budding filmmakers. Levy also released a video that explains how they were able to get Jude Law to appear in their film. He's only there for a few seconds at the end, but it's a nice cameo and adds some gravitas to this project. Sometimes this kind of big name helps filmmakers get the attention they need to break in. Both videos are worth a watch, to see the short they made and a deep dive into how they made it. Skywatch is set in the near future when drone delivery is commonplace and some hacker kids take their jokes a little too far.
"Two hearts entwined. Two lives unravelled." Another award-winning short to feature this week. A Love Story is an animated short film that won the prestigious BAFTA Award for Best Animated Short in 2017. It's finally online to watch in full, and it's a lovely 7-minute journey into the surreal world of love. Made by British Sri-Lankan filmmaker Anushka Naanayakkara, the short is about two creatures that fall in love, weaving a colourful world together. But when darkness threatens to consume one of them, the other must fight to remain together, or risk being torn apart. "As the journey from lover to carer and back again grows from unlikely to seemingly impossible, these two creatures must make some hard decisions about how much of themselves they can give, without compromising their identity." It's very experimental and mesmerizing.
"The Saga You Know, The Origins You Don't…." This is the week where we all finally get to experience the grand finale in the Skywalker saga, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opening in theaters soon. If you're in need of a hearty Star Wars boost to get you in the right mood, or just want to explore some more Star Wars goodness in honor of the long-awaited opening this week, this new fan film is a must watch. Star Wars: Origins is a spectacular, whimsical, and entertaining 18-minute short film made by filmmaker Phil Hawkins. The concept involves re-imaginging our own history as if Star Wars took place in our past. And what it would be like to go looking for artifacts related to the great stories. Starring Marie Everett, Jamie Costa, Hadrian Howard, and Philip Walker. Not only does this look and sound great, it's a thoroughly entertaining film with a couple of clever twists. Not just another Star Wars fan film, this is something more.
"Round 3, fight!" It's Pizza Time! Order yourself a pie and enjoy this action comedy short film. Pizza Time is the latest short made by filmmaking collective Maker Table, based out of Dallas, TX - we also featured their horror short Monitor last year. This incredibly fun 80s throwback is about a legendary pizza delivery driver, who upon arriving at his destination, stumbles into the scene of a hitman's contract killing. Will he make it out alive or not? Starring Eric Jacobus and Ben Worley (who also made the music for the short). Director Ryan Polly explains: "I made the film as an homage to Jackie Chan and great action-comedy films of the 80's." I dig the fight choreography in this, and the arcade machines, good times. Watch in full below.
"Do you ever stop eating?" Sometimes we need a good pick-me-up, and it's a short film like this that might do the trick. Christmas Spirit is a lovely 10 minute short film made by director/editor Andy Delaney, with writer Rich With. "Working in conjunction with the charity Cruse Bereavement Care, Andy and Rich have crafted a beautifully melancholic and yet ultimately uplifting Christmas film guaranteed to leave a lump in your throat." The short is about a boy who helps his dad deal with grief at Christmas in his own unique way. Starring Curtis Flowers and introducing Bert Davis as The Boy, along with Charles Sharman-Cox, Olivia Sawbridge, Rachel Beauchamp, Dylan Tate and Jamie-Lee Pike. Not only is this an excellent short, the music they use throughout really adds to the emotion of it all. Highly recommend watch this one.