"My five year old niece 'likes' science. I have a doctorate in quantum mechanics." What would you do if you had a device that would allow you to skip back on minute in time? Is there much you could do with that extra minute? Or would it just become a problem? One-Minute Time Machine is a fun short film made by filmmaker Devon Avery that originally premiered in 2014 and landed online in 2015. But that doesn't mean we can't still feature it now! I just came across this and it's so amusing, the perfect little short to make you laugh, in barely 5 minutes of time. James is all too eager to put his one-minute time machine to use in winning the heart of Regina, until he discovers the unexpected consequences of his actions. Starring Brian Dietzen and Erinn Hayes. The dialogue is so witty, even if it's a bit cheesy, it's all enjoyable in a cute way.
"If you ever come into contact with the creature, you're somehow connected – 'one with it?'" Have you ever meet this kind of sea monster before? Sea Critter is a VFX short film made on a tiny budget by a batch of up-and-coming filmmakers. It takes a while to get going, running long at 17 minutes in total, but there is an intriguing concept in here. A documentary crew uncovers the strange story behind Wilbur's encounter with a tentacled sea creature. This is made by filmmaker Eric Smigiel, and stars Scot Scurlock as the grizzled sea fellow named Wilbur. The film premiered at the Burbank Film Festival last year, and is available online to watch now. It's not the most impressive short film, a bit rough around the edges, especially with how long it spends interviewing him in the chair in the first half. But the ending is cool. Meet the "Sea Critter" below.
He's back! A few years ago, a French editor named Fabrice Mathieu put together a fun fan film titled TS: Terminators, mashing up footage from all of the Terminator movies to tell a different story involving Arnold Schwarzenegger's various robots fighting each other. He's back again with TS2 Terminators 2: Primary Targets, the highly anticipated sequel to his first TS short. The story in the sequel takes place after James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day - "this time, the Connors are on their own." As amusing as this is, there's so much creativity in taking existing content and remixing / re-editing to make something new. That rad little car from the movie Black Moon Rising is pretty dang cool, I want one now. Fire this up and enjoy.
"So what happens now…?" One of the most vital and unanswerable questions about our existence on this planet: what happens when you die? Is there an after life? Do we get all the answers to every questions? Are we reincarnated? Re-Entry is a stunning short film made by Dutch filmmaker Ben Brand (also of Life is Beautiful last year). A man dies in a car accident and, upon reawakening, strikes up a conversation with god. Answers to his questions lead to great insight about the meaning of life. Based on a short story by American bestselling author Andy Weir. The short stars Issaka Sawadogo and Johnny Bang Reilly. It was made with a massive $70K budget, shot on three different continents. The director explains: "I hope this film can evoke even the slightest positive feeling and love for ourselves and also everyone around us." This is utterly gorgeous, and reminds me of the magnificence of the film Nine Days. This is a must watch 9 minute film.
"Do you know how many times I jump started the car?" This excellent short film made by filmmaking duo Rayka Zehtabchi & Sam A. Davis is worth your time to watch. It screened at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and Seattle Film Festival last year, and is available thanks to Short of the Week. Are You Still There? is about a young Iranian-American woman stuck parked in a parking lot with a dead battery. It's about much more than just that, dealing with grief and the journey of processing it. "Safa's been through a lot. Now her car battery's dead in a strip mall parking lot." It's best to let you experience and pick up on everything as the film plays out. It runs only 14 minutes and every single minute is valuable. Starring Safa Tarifi as Safa, and Rima Haddad as Roya. It's shot in Los Angeles on a hot summer day. Made by super talented filmmakers.
"Do you have someone to pick you up after this?" This exquisite short is one of the best we've come across recently. I'm already looking forward to seeing more from this filmmaker, making her directorial debut after working for years as production designer. Polished is written and directed Colleen Dodge and runs only six minutes in total. It's a tribute to women of New York City, following one woman as she gets her nails done before a very important appointment. "Polished is a vulnerable glimpse into the decisions - from simple to complex - a young woman must make while navigating a busy workday in New York City." Starring Jane Stiles. It has some superb style but also impressive storytelling in barely any time. This was filmed during the pandemic, which adds another layer of anxiety to the experience of her navigating the city. View below.
Need to escape into something mesmerizing and psychedelic? This 105 second long journey from below to above and back again will take you on a trip like you just dropped some acid, but without the acid (but hey if you want to try that kind of trip for real, why not?). Leviathan is an animated (very) short film made by a Canadian animator / filmmaker / artist named Nick Cross. It's not even two minutes long, but will leave a strong impression on you with all the strange animals and creatures and objects that appear throughout. He explains, "that which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above" as an intro, an the film goes on a cyclical voyage through the above and below to remind us how connected everything is. It's impossible to even describe this short properly, you just have to experience it for yourself.
"Dad, I think Spider-Man's just trying to help…" Thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brilliantly introducing Miles Morales, the world now knows who this alternate universe Spider-Man is. And we need more of him! On the heels of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and while we're waiting for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse to open later this year, some intrepid fans from Northern Canada have debuted a brand new fan film to enjoy. It's called Miles Behind: A Spider-Man Fan Film and is now available to watch in full. Made by the same filmmakers behind the 2012 TDKR fan film Arkham Rises. Eb Mensah stars as Miles, still trying to find his footing and voice as the new Spider-Man of NYC, while also keeping up with his regular life as a student and the son of Officer Davis. This was made on practically no budget, and the acting isn't that great, but it's still good to see Miles as Spidey again. That's what matters most. Check it out below.
"With ardent worship, dedication and prayers… you can bring them into your service." Everything that comes out of this animation house in India – Studio Eeksaurus – is excellent (also see The Basket), and this is another unique creation. Seen It! is a fantastic hand-drawn animated short made by an illustrator named Adithi Krishnadas. The 12-minute short presents a number of kooky stories about a man discussing ghosts and religion in his local community, recorded in the Malayalam dialect. The intro: "The ever-vibrant Mr. P. N. K Panicker has several shockers up his sleeve. He takes the viewer along a moonlit stroll and paints a quirky picture of the supernatural encounters he has had." Even though these are strange stories being told, there is something whimsical and entertaining about this. It's so charming and quirky and amusing to see. Give yourself 12 minutes to enjoy this short, and see if you're moved or inspired by the stories. Watch below.
"I see A.I. as not really an opinion, it seems like truth." After playing at film festivals all year long, this one-of-a-kind mesmerizing, entrancing short film is now available to watch online. Forever is a short created by filmmaker Mitch McGlocklin, and it's made by an artificial intelligence system. The story follows a guy who has a life-changing experience. "A life insurance company uses an AI algorithm to determine the risk of a new applicant. The subsequent denial sparks a period of introspection for the individual in question." It's a deeply contemplative film in many ways, and doesn't look like your typical short film. Forever was created with the experimental technique of using LiDAR to capture real life moments and environments. The LiDAR unit used to acquire the footage was originally created for self-driving cars. This junction of technology and filmmaking intersects with the subject of the film. There's much more going on in this aside from the visuals, as the things he calmly says will get into your head, too. Much to think about as we head into 2022.
Experience this epic battle like never before! Swiss animation filmmaker Georges Schwizgebel originally premiered this animation project back in 2017, but it's finally online to watch thanks to Vimeo. The Battle of San Romano is a short film taking a classic painting, the famous 15th century triptych "The Battle of San Romano" by Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello, and animating it using a unique paint-on-glass technique. It's all done by hand. "The movement begins at the top left-hand corner of the painting and ends in the same piece, which allows me to restart the spiral. At the beginning, I'm looking for how square 1 will turn into square 2, into a total of 36 different segments." Schwizgebel has made 20 other films before this with the same technique, and has picked up many awards over the years. It reminds me of these stunning hand-painted films Loving Vincent & The Peasants. It also gives this painting a whole new life. View below.
"Ho ho ho! I'm going to unwrap your skull." Have a holly, jolly Christmas! It's the best time of the year… As long as Santa isn't killing you, then there will be plenty of cheer. How about a fun Christmas horror short to warm up these holiday days? Jolly is a new short film by 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 this year's Fear Wish. Jolly, about an animatronic Santa head, also stars Todd Spence with Zak White as the voice of Santa. These guys are damn good at putting together homemade shorts that are slyly entertaining and extremely creepy without much happening, which isn't as easy at it seems. Just don't make Santa angry.