Every year, Filminute challenges filmmakers all over the world to tell a story in 60 seconds. After combing through all the entries, they’ve created a shortlist of 25 films representing 19 different countries this time around. The online festival features a jury led by Richard Linklater that will pick an overall winner, but there’s also a People’s Choice Award, and voting ends this week.

For innovation, for cleverness, for brevity — here are 10 entries that deserve recognition for their achievements (and your vote if you think they’ve earned it).

10. The Evening Cigarette

Perhaps the hippest anti-smoking ad around, this anime-style work features deadpan, catastrophic proof that cigarettes can kill even when you’re trying oh-so-hard to look cool.

Matthieu Van Eeckhout’s movie comes with a wry sense of humor and an excellent auto insurance policy.

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9. Late

This entry from Chong Yuen Ping is direct but effective. A husband comes home to his wife already in the middle of having supper. Plaintive, he promises to her cold shoulder that he’ll change, but there’s something wrong that can’t be fixed.

Acted with just the right notes of remorse and solitude, it’s a gut punch that aims slightly higher.

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8. The Last Performance

Even though the reveal is telegraphed, there’s still a bittersweetness to this movie from Iran that features an old, blind man taking to the stage for the last time. It’s the kind of short that could act as the first scene in a longer movie, evoking all sorts of questions about who the characters are.

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7. Migration

This short film from Andrey Levkovitch is simple and stunning. It features a flock of red balloons on a snowy field wandering wherever the wind blows them, and while it’s contemplative instead of plot-driven, the final sequence delivers a delightful how-did-he-do-it magic trick of beauty.

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6. M22

A truly eyebrow-raising entry, this short blends alienating imagery with the very mundane to excellent effect — a bit like shoving alternative universes inside the nooks and crannies.


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