There are exactly 12,458 short films made every year. That number is a grossly inaccurate estimation, but the point is, there’s a hell of a lot of short films out there. The classic calling card for would-be career directors, the mistress keeping a feature filmmaker’s attention, the proof that a left field concept can work. These brief motion pictures can pack an incredible punch, and in the world of the internet, they are everyday finding their place among the throne room of distraction entertainment that can be safely smuggled into a cubicle or a school desk.
After watching close to 3,000 shorts this year, roughly 260 were chosen for our Short Film of the Day feature, so the idea of culling that list down to 12 seems both staggering and like something that violates the Eighth Amendment. The whole “Everyone’s a winner” schtick is something we all know isn’t true, but if you made it onto the site at all, you’ve got something that thousands of other movies don’t.
With that in mind, here are the shorts that shined above and beyond those that survived the final cut. You’ll find a security team overwhelmed by monsters and sarcasm, two robots with immense humanity, a bit of comic book ultra-violence and a whole lot more.
12. Cut Off
The Pitch: An author spends a bit too much time in the fictional world while struggling to finish a novel.
The Hook: An impressive balance of humor and noir trappings, clever shots and editing, and an engagingly raw lead performance.
The Pitch: Edited down from 10 hours of NASA footage about a robotics program, the story of a sentient robot worker who is dying.
The Hook: A smart twist on found footage (that uses actual found footage), a look into our science fiction future using our science past and an utterly devastating emotional display.
The Pitch: An experiment in colorful design…
The Hook: …that creates some gasp-inducing beauty.
9. The Chase
The Pitch: Four badass bitches lead an army of police on a high speed chase filled with destruction.
The Hook: Gravity-defying CGI, a mastery of action and a killer punch line.