A shortlist of short films

Writing in today’s Evening News, I mentioned that like to see our cinemas bring back short films before the main features, harking back to a time when an evening’s entertainment comprised a series of short films strung together from newsreels, cartoons and documentaries.

Would losing five minutes of adverts to give up-and-coming filmmakers a chance to shine in front of the latest Hollywood blockbuster really be such a bad thing? After all, that’s how Ridley Scott, Shane Meadows and other directors got noticed.

Until that happens here are a few short films I’ve seen over the last year or so that you might find interesting – the first three started out life as shorts but were expanded into full movies after being spotted by eager executives.

First up is director Neill Blomkamp’s Alive in Joberg, the 2005 film which inspired this year’s sci-fi blockbuster District 9:

Next up is Shane Acker’s 9, another short film which ended up becoming a feature film, also called 9 and starring Elijah Woods:

My final sci-fi themed short is called Panic Attack and has a similar vibe to it as Joberg/District 9. Director Fede Alvarez took this to Hollywood and was immediately signed-up to make it into a multi-million dollar action film:

Finally, here’s Shane Meadows’ The Stairwell, a short film made entirely on a mobile phone for zero budget, proving it doesn’t take much to make something interesting:

Feel free to add your own links to your favourite short films in the comments section below.

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One thought on “A shortlist of short films

  1. Having produced over 40 shorts and been involved with the (sadly defunct) Mediabase crowd behind the old Blue Room shorts screenings at The Cameo, this is a subject very close to my heart. I'd love to add links to some of my favourite shorts, but many of them are not even available online, (eg. Simon Ellis's wonderful 'Soft' – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30TgJ4BKeJw ) … and therein lies the problem.

    Anyways … here's a few that are online, including some from wonderful filmmakers based on our very own doorstep:

    Laid Off (Glasgow-based Zam Salim – short filmmaking legend and all-round top guy) : http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/films/p004tdns

    The Truth About Tooth (Edinburgh's Hazel Baillie – ECA and NFTS graduate)
    http://www.docscene.org/the-truth-about-tooth.html

    Life According to Dinosaurs (from Edinburgh-based animator, Madevi Dailly)

    A Map With Gaps (Edinburgh's Alice Nelson – amazingly talented)
    http://www.docscene.org/a-map-with-gaps.html

    Prey Alone (Stunning for its scale of ambition – A ridiculous Hollywood action film, made in Ireland, and done as a short on a £50k budget. All shot green screen)
    http://www.atom.com/funny_videos/prey_alone/

    The Apology Line (James Lees)
    http://www.digishorts.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=5

    And, if we may be so bold as to include a couple of our own:
    A Guide to Taking A Photo

    and

    What's Fufu?
    http://www.e4.com/video/3FkAumK6SdmgxKclt16ox1/play.e4

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