- Game Night
This 6 minute short tells the story of a lonely taxi driver whose memory of his days as football star are ignited when he drops a passenger at a game. Telling a compelling, dramatic, heart-breaking story that feels complete in just 6 minutes is astounding work. The story is still haunting me so many days later.
Incredible stop-motion and hand-drawn animation is used to talk about the upside of fear and the journey of keeping afloat amid depression and despair. Dr Zenglo Chen was just a toddler when his parents vanished during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Through Chen’s own words, this short shares the delicate human journey through loss and tragedy and the mysteries of faith. I had to keep watching this one over again and it moved me to tears every time.
- I Am Was Winner
This short shares the stories of three recovering gaming addicts through their game avatars. Putting their heroic struggles to heal this serious addiction into the mouths of the characters they dedicated their lives to gives empathetic context and a poignant resonance to their recovery.
- Dead Ringer
This is a dynamite NYC short about the impending elimination of the city’s phone booths. It’s a passionate, pissed off monologue from their perspective. I’ll never look at one the same way again. Another cool addition is all the phone booths in Manhattan are wrapped in Dead Ringer tape.
- Reality +
What if you could be implanted with a chip that allows you to project the most perfect custom designed version of yourself? And, you can meet others with the same implant. But, the effect only lasts for 12 hours. What could go wrong? This sleek, stylish French sci-fi short explores every possibility.
- Madam Black
SPOILER ALERT. This one is for people who like their comedy dark and twisty. A glamour photographer accidently runs over a little girl’s cat. To save her the heartbreak of seeing Madam Black dead, he invents on the spot a story that the cat has gone to travel the world. He whips up a postcard written by Madam Black but the little girl demands a photo. With a studio full of props, he takes the expired cat secretly with him to document her world travels. Her stories become more elaborate and the little girl is delighted by the exciting life Madam Black has discovered. It’s surprisingly sweet and touching in a “I can’t believe he just did that!” kind of way. I love that it’s daring and that seemingly dark actions can have a lot of heart, especially with the desire to keep darker realities at bay for a little girl a little longer.
- Future Boyfriend
SPOLER ALERT: A young woman is on a strange date. The guy cuts her food for her and treats her like a hospital patient. He reveals that he is from the future and that he’s her caretaker in a retirement home. He fell in love with her older self and decides that if he goes back in time he could help her make choices that result in a happier life. Her response to his admission is fresh and moving.
8. For Your Own Safety
An over-zealous TSA employee is obsessed with preventing another terrorist hijacking. His dogged dedication clashes with co-workers who are slacking on the job, He makes a very horrific choice to assert his cause that sadly has a positive result in renewing the dedication to flight safety. The inherent racism of no one questioning the validity of the incident because the accused is Muslim offers a disturbing spotlight on racial profiling.