We’re one month deep into a new year and it’s already looking like an unrelenting 12-months for the world of short film. January 2020 not only saw master of the surreal David Lynch drop a surprise short (where he interrogates a monkey) on Netflix, the Oscar nominations released and Kickstarter announce a month long celebration of short film, but here at S/W we delved deep into the last 10-years to reveal lessons from a decade of short film and announced our own personal favourites from the last 12-months in our Short Awards.

If that wasn’t enough, we also served up sixteen sweet shorts, featuring a healthy dose of comedy (some darker than others) to lighten those January blues. Our three favourite films from the month were lacking in laughs, but raised our spirits by breathing new life into the sometimes stodgy archival material genre, injecting some heart into branded content and proving that the “slow burn” can be effective in the short film format.

Experimental Olivia Wilde

Wake Up

A woman is forced to rediscover her humanity in an increasingly digital world. A brand film for HP, directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Margaret Qualley.

Documentary Yi Seung-Jun

In the Absence

Nominated for the 2020 Oscars, this damning documentary explores what happened during the 2014 Sewol Ferry disaster, where over three hundred people lost their lives, most of them school children.

Drama Javier Marco


Far out at sea, a cell phone floating inside an air-tight bag starts to ring.

Editor’s Note: Osman Cerfon’s Je sors acheter des cigarettes (I’m going out for cigarettes) was my own personal favourite, but as it’s only online for a limited time, we decided not to include it in our Best of the Month – it’s a brilliant film though and you should watch it while you can.

Watch past Best of the Month Selections