Short of the Week

The Winners | SOTW Awards 2012!

Playlist / February 7, 2012

As you might have noticed, this year we dispense with what has our been our traditional year-in-review Top Ten list (examples here) in order to highlight even more quality deserving content than that stale format allows. The SotW Awards are the result, and last week, after surveying an incredible year’s worth of short film picks, we presented our favorite Animation, Live-Action and New Media pieces of 2011.

Today we present category winners, a short collection of what we feel is the best of the best, including our Overall top short film of 2011. Enjoy, discuss, share!

Best New Media
Documentary about Art in Live-Action
Qiao Li / 6 min / China
Enter the world of Chinese wedding photography through the work of 80 Impression, an amazingly creative and popular duo of artists.

It was quite a year for branded films, and Kitty & LaLa, 80 Impression, a short doc from prolific web content purveyor Intel, encapsulates a lot of what we like about the trend. Namely, creative people getting to be creative! While celebrity is most often the currency which allows branded content to exist, the goal is to recognize talent and let them have free play within a short format. Intel and the creative crew at Amsterdam Worldwide allow Qiao Li to do that, with the result being an almost perfect short documentary: visually engaging, formally inventive and with fascinating subjects, Kitty & Lala effectively markets to the digital creative class by employing creative people to energetically profile creative artists. Not the most creative formula, but perfect in its priorities.

Best Live-Action

Experimental about Nothing in Live-Action
Harmony Korine / 15 min / USA
Harmony Korine & Die Antwoord team up for this bizarre film that follows the antics of two wheelchair-bound rapscallions.

It’s a clichéd anecdote to make, but Umshini Wam works on multiple different levels, and as such is one the most perfect collaborations yet seen between artists in the short film realm. The comedy is most easily apparent, what with the pajama outfits and wheelchairs, spoofing Natural Born Killers-style spree films in a way that jives perfectly with the outsized internet-personas of the performers Die Antwoord—ridiculous, and yet somehow still maintaining an edge. As performance, a filmic space for two weird entertainers to function, it is likewise a success, with Ninja’s big-bong schlong freestyles and Yo-Landi’s insane dolphin calls being uproarious. But to somehow fit heart and genuine pathos into this convoluted whole is a testament to director Harmony Korine. Even further, add the setting which is Africa. War, problematic race relations and cultural imperialism are all legacies implicitly present. Take the totality of opportunities to read social commentary into the film, and you could write a book.

Best Animation
Dark Comedy about Nothing in 3D Animation
David OReilly / 17 min / Germany
Enter the disturbing world of David OReilly (Please Say Something) for a spin into low-poly, subconscious madness.

It’s hard to bestow any praise on David O’Reilly that hasn’t previously been delivered 100 times over. He is our most acclaimed independent animator of recent years. Why? O’Reilly’s shocking, juvenile, but also deeply humanistic POV has many admirers, however animation is a visual form, so O’Reilly’s formalistic innovations must be strongly credited as well. He has been the man to lead animation through a conceptual blockage—3D animation was being dominated by commercial aesthetics. Did you make Pixar-style animation or video-games? O’Reilly did neither, instead showing a virtuosic understanding of animation’s principles, he deconstructed 3D to the point of absurdity. The External World is the most perfect distillation of his creative overabundance: brash, crude, overflowing with characters, jokes, emotions, sensations. Perhaps the mostly carefully-considered animation of the year is paradoxically a chaotic mess, and we love it.

***

Thanks for following along with our awards presentation! A reminder, don’t forget to check out the other SotW Awards winners within the individual categories of AnimationLive-Action and New Media. Also come back tomorrow as we host a virtual roundtable with the winners of the SotW Awards, picking their brain on the state of online short film, and the influence of the web on their careers.

Now, without further delay, 2011′s SHORT FILM of the YEAR.

***

OVERALL WINNER: SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR
Documentary about Life & Society in Interactive
A remarkable interactive media experience about a town that's no longer on the map, but is not forgotten.

At our core, we at Short of the Week prize storytelling above all else. We trumpet stories, we celebrate storytellers, and in our editorial, we try our hand at telling stories ourselves. Stories have the power to inform, transform, transport and uplift ourselves and, through extension, the world. Maybe that’s why Pine Point struck a chord with us. Sure, we have an interest in technology and trends, and as the first interactive film to unimpeachably “work”, Pine Point is a sexy choice for us to make as our Short Film of the Year. But sexy isn’t our mission. More than medium, more than form or structure, this work resonates because it is a good story about the importance of stories.

Pine Point is no longer on the map, the setting of so many stories, vanished. Stories are what make us, they are how we relate to ourselves and others. Without them there is a sadness and dislocation in having part of you removed. This film recognizes that feeling and remarkably, movingly, it rescues some of those stories, placing them in a technological wrapper that is cutting edge and an aesthetic bleeding with nostalgia.

The result is emotional, intimate and simply great storytelling—the most affecting short media experience we found on the web in 2011, and now Short of the Week’s Short Film of the Year.

~
Finding and showcasing the best online short films since 2007.
  • Felonious Punk

    Yay! I love “Umshini Wam” and “The External World”. Now, I’m going to check out “Welcome to Pine Point” and “Kitty & Lala”. Nice work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondhi Jason Sondhi

    Thanks Felonious! You won’t be disappointed. 

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • Hans J. Eidisgard

    Don’t get me wrong Harmony Korine has made some good shit in the past, but I just can’t see anything good about Umshini Wam. It’s the same thing with TrashHumpers, really. It’s like Harmony said, “hey let’s fuck around and make dumb shit, pass it along as art and see if people are stupid enough to buy it”.. For me it would suit better if it won the award for “Worst Piece of Crap” in 2011, hehe  :)

    The External World was a great film, though. I am glad that one won an award, although I would probably have given that one to Rosa.

  • http://twitter.com/kung_fuelvis kung_fuelvis

    What a brilliantly weird list of films. Hurrah!

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    It was a tough choice—a lot of great films this past year… and I think we’ll see even more this year…

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    “Stories are what make us, they are how we relate to ourselves and others.” I can’t think of a better collection of films that speak to what it means to be alive today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    My personal favorite in 2011 wasn’t featured on your site. It’s called The Man Who Never Cried. It’s just an amazing film. By far the best short film in 2011.

    My second favorite was 30-minute child sex-trafficing film The Candy Shop. Fantastic stuff.

    Third place would have to go to Drew Barrymore’s Our Deal. Just loved that one. It touched me.

    Other really great films that I can think of right now were: Rosa, The External World, Zero and Tune For Two. Did you feature that one by the way? It’s a Swedish two-minute short. Great film.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    I was bored, so I made a “best short films of 2011 list” on my pretty much abandoned faroese blog.

    check it out on: filmsbloggurin.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondhi Jason Sondhi

    Good choices Hans. I touched on both “The Man Who Never Cried” and “The Candy Shop” in my coverage of the Doorpost Competition. 

    http://www.shortoftheweek.com/2010/12/11/doorpost-online-film-competition-2010/

    We did also do a review of Tune for Two, and I know it got a few votes for the end of year awards—http://www.shortoftheweek.com/2011/05/08/tune-for-two/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hans-Jákup-Eiðisgarð/562136702 Hans Jákup Eiðisgarð

    I thought those films had an online release in 2011, but I see you wrote about them in December 2010!! So I am guessing they’re more like 2010 films or what? 

  • Caleb Slain

    2011: A good year for films about nothing…because nothing is still something. ;)

    Enjoyed the selections, thanks for the great curation!

  • Lucy

    I was bored too, so i checked out your blog…

  • Lucy

    I was bored too, so i checked out your blog…

  • http://twitter.com/TheBestSitescom The Best Sites

    Look, I like your website but this is HARDLY the best you have to offer here… I was watching this with my girlfriend after watching like 3 great random short videos including these asians being attacked by a giant squid (that’s what you call quality content) nd then you pull this asian marriage shit out of your ass and call it the best of 2012??? where were you in 2012.

    - hate mail from your biggest fan.

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    These are the best films from the previous year, 2011. Our SOTW Awards 2013 is coming soon!

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    These are the best films from the previous year, 2011. Our SOTW Awards 2013 is coming soon!