Short student films always have the opportunity to surprise, regardless of the school they come from, or how polished. Benigni was created as a simple class exercise at Finland’s Turku Arts Academy—it’s not even a graduation film, but the charm of its bizarre story got it a spot in Annecy 2010.
A combination of Puppetry, Stop-Motion and computer-aided 2D animation, the story wrong-foots the audience at several turns. At first a somber and restrained tale of loneliness, the growth of a giant tumor under the protagonist’s arm suggests a dark turn. But the tumor is not what it appears, taking the story in an unexpected direction, and the resolving twist is even more shocking.
Moving, funny, sad and surprising all at once, Benigni is on its way to becoming an internet classic, being added to the respected Future Shorts collection this year, and of course now a Short of the Week!