Who doesn't love the beach? Or more aptly, who misses the beach already? Have a gander at this fun short film titled Heatwave, made by a Greek animation filmmaker named Fokion Xenos. This premiered last year and picked up tons of awards playing on the festival circuit, finally online to watch for free thanks to Short of the Week. In the midst of a searing heatwave, two little children find a way to cool everyone down! A playful stop motion short film animated in a hybrid technique between cut out, and claynimation and thousands of replacements pieces. There's a good amount of creative stop-motion filmmaking, from various materials like plastic wrap for the water, to amusing claymation characters galore. 'Heatwave is essentially an ode to the Greek summer of my childhood and every summer since,' Xenos reveals. It's dialogue free, but does feature a nice score by Andreas Gutuen Aaser. Only 7 minutes - this animated film is worth a watch.
"The mind can be a precarious thing… It can either serve or deceive." The Talash Video Centre and Digital Boulevard have released the official trailer for a peculiar new sci-fi project titled Cognition, the first film made by filmmaker Ravi Ajit Chopra. Cognition is a 27 minute short dystopian sci-fi drama / thriller about a son confronting his past trauma. Journeying through the symbolic landscape of the subconscious mind, the story follows an unbreakable bond between father and son…. A bond that transcends space and time. This uncompromising short fuses two distant worlds in a hallucinogenic roller-coaster ride through the darkest chasms of the mind. Starring Andrew Scott, Jeremy Irvine, Lucy Russell, Wolf Kahler, Milo Panni, and Georgia Sandle. The making of this short film has been a labour of love for the team involved - watch a featurette about Ravi's family video shop "Talash Video Centre" and about the making of the film. This has some stellar visuals + stunning shots of future worlds - hopefully there's a coherent story to go with all that.
"I need to see my family in person, and not on a screen!" Netflix has debuted a homemade comedy sequel to the Father of the Bride movies. This one is titled Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish), since it's not really a full-length feature film - and you can watch it for free below. This 30-min short was made entirely on Zoom and is presented as a family get-together with everyone – there's a big surprise, too. The entire family from the two movies is back: Steven Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kieran Culkin, George Newbern, and Martin Short. Plus there's an appearance by Florence Pugh as baby Maggie all grown up, and Ben Platt playing Annie's son Georgie, and a few other special guests. This "sequel" is also crafted as a fundraising effort – to support the World Central Kitchen – they're providing meals for families impacted by the pandemic. Nancy Meyers wrote and directed this short, and it's all a bit cheesy, but it's still a fun watch. With pandemic jokes galore, Steve Martin as lovable father George Banks, and plenty of laughs.
"You're not the only one in this car, ya know." Buckle up, strap in, helmet on, get ready to goooo. Group B is a thrilling, engrossing short film made by acclaimed British filmmaker Nick Rowland. This originally premiered back in 2015, before Rowland went on to break out with his debut feature film Calm With Horses last year. It hasn't shown up to watch online until just now. Richard Madden (from "Game of Thrones") stars in this high-octane drama set in the golden era of rally racing. "Known for its incredibly dangerous off-road races, notorious for lack of crowd control, and some of the most powerful and sophisticated cars the world has ever seen, driver Shane Hunter is facing a comeback to Group B competition after a long and troubled absence." The cast includes Michael Smiley, Dominic Wolf, and Walter Sweetman Jr. And it features a score by Terence Dunn. For those interested, Rowland is already working on a new feature film that takes place within the same world of competitive rally driving as Group B. Fire up the short below.
"When death comes, as it does for us all… Life is changed, not ended… They are never truly gone, for the spirit remains." A very unique short film to watch - now available online. Fred, stylized as f r e d, is a short film written and directed by British filmmaker Alexander Jeremy. It premiered at a few festivals last year and won an award for a spontaneous musical dance sequence. A woman struggles to come to terms with the loss of her fiancé, but below the surface, a darker story lurks. "Almost two years ago one of my best mates passed away. I decided to make a short film and dedicate it to him." Starring Samuel Woodhams as Fred, plus Susie Kimnell, Shaun Prendergast, & Nathan Gordon. "We are proud that we made something that is original, bold and unique," Jeremy states. And it certainly is. "Give yourself a half-hour and sink in."
"People began to question whether he even wanted the park to open. Maybe he wanted it all to himself. Wandaland, his own private fiefdom." An intriguing animated short film parable made by a Royal College of Art student named Richard noble - Wandaland is available to watch online and it's a quick six minute adventure. The short is a mixed-media biography of a fictional animation tycoon - John Wanda. "The park will bear John Wanda's name and when it's built his obsessive nature, pride, and constant changes threaten the existence of the park." Obviously referencing Walt Disney and Howard Hughes and obsessive geniuses like them. Featuring the voice of Mike DelGaudio as the narrator. It's a rather sad story, but I guess that's the point - a cautionary tale about obsession and grandeur (and perfection). This is definitely worth a watch.
"You… are not human." What the?!! This is so badass!! A Japanese filmmaker and VFX artist named Junya Okabe has finally released his homemade short film ZVP online for everyone to watch. The official title is just ZVP, but this is actually Zatoichi vs Predator - but since it's fan-made and all for fun, he can't call it that due to IP rights. In feudal Japan, blind Swordsman Zatoichi comes to the aid of a noblewoman carrying a secret treasure, and must fight cyborg ninjas and a powerful and mysterious Samurai. There are some cool cyberpunk Japanese warriors in this, but the big reveal is that the Predator is somehow kicking ass in feudal Japan. The film stars Shun Sugata and Chihiro Yamamoto. It originally premiered in 2017, but has only just hit the web this month. Even the score is awesome, too. I love coming across this kind of stuff - enjoy it.
"Too late… we're here!" Time for a killer sci-fi short! Or maybe you've already watched but are just reading the post now? The Speed of Time is a funny time travel short directed by William J. Stribling, and written by Russ Nickel & Stribling. John Hennigan stars as Johnny Killfire, a future cop who must go back in time and team up with his former self in order to stop the TimeBorgs from getting their hands on an app that could break the space-time continuum by delivering pizzas into the past… before they were even ordered. This also stars Sean Marquette, Alex Jennings, and Nic Nemeth. And features "The Speed of Time", an original song by Dylan Glatthorn. It doesn't reinvent the time travel wheel, but it is an amusing sci-fi action short with one killer Killfire performance that makes it a tasty "steaming hot belly bomb." This is a fun one.
"Don't you worry. The tunnel isn't dangeorus" More sci-fi, the better! A must watch short is now available online titled The Tunnel, originally Tunnelen in Norwegian (not to be confused with the other Norwegian feature film Tunnelen). This is made by famed Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal, and originally debuted back in 2016 (at the Tribeca Film Festival) and has taken four years to finally hit the web. Based on a short story by Alice Glaser, the film is set in the distant future and follows family that is caught in slow-moving traffic with the hope of making it home safely. They converse with the kids but without trying to reveal their real fears, and the film is presented as "only a family sitting completely still inside a car." It's cool from both a filmmaking standpoint, and also as an intriguing story about where our future is headed. I would love to see more stories set in this future, of course, but this is damn good for a 12 minute short film. Watch below.
"You won't believe what's going on now." HP has unveiled an official trailer for a short documentary series titled Dear Future Me, from filmmakers Sarah Klein & Tom Mason. Dear Future Me, a new documentary short film in two parts, features both high school seniors opening their prophetic letters and 6th graders writing to their future selves. The results are surprising, engaging, emotional and most of all, heartwarming. But even more than reminiscing about their middle school selves, the letters prompt reflections on identity, race, sexuality and just how much growing and changing kids do in six short years. Of course! This is one of those things we all do in school, or at least we've heard about, and it's a fun exercise in recognizing how fast time passes and how we change as time passes. And it goes without saying, but it's even more poignant to watch this now considering how crazy things are in the world in 2020. Watch the trailer + two shorts below.
"Life's fires give us two paths. Burn out with the flames. Or build up from the ash." Wow. Filmmaker Ryan Gibb (who once made "the best mountain bike movie of all-time") partnered with professional mountain bike rider Nico Vink to create this incredible, jaw-dropping video. From The Ash is "a visual metaphor for pushing forward as the world seemingly crumbles around you." The crew went to the forest in Cimarron, New Mexico, near the Boy Scout ranch called Philmont. In 2018, the Ute Park wildfire burnt 36,740 acres, a large part of the ranch. To make this video, they found a part of the forest and lit controlled fires to film. "Everything was shot in a controlled setting on private land during the winter in a recently scorched wildfire area. The crew was under the supervision of forestry professionals to ensure everything was executed safely. There wasn't a single live tree touched…" I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before. Wow. Must see.
"It's your turn to do the dishes." This "masterpiece" short film was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the Cesar Awards earlier this year, France's version of the Oscars. I'm Going Out for Cigarettes, also known as Je Sors Acheter Des Cigarettes originally in French, is written and directed by animation filmmaker Osman Cerfon. The film is about a 12-year-old boy who lives with his mother and sister, while men with the same face begin appearing around his apartment. The film examines "the impact of an absent parental figure in a child's life", resulting in seeing them everywhere instead. It's a film where the message, the whole point of the story, is only revealed as it plays out - which makes it much more meaningful in the end. With the voices of Théan Van de Voorde, Manon Bresch, Delphine Rollin, Valentin Gevraise. As wacky as the animation style is, there's a seriousness to this film that makes it stand out. Worth a watch.