As I sit here in the cafe of the Watershed in Bristol, surrounded by fellow short film fans attending the Encounters festival, mind buzzing after witnessing an eclectic mix of screenings, I’m reminded of what I love about this world. The films are great and the ability to be moved, surprised, scared and entertained within one screening is incomparable, but it’s the people, the community, that makes it so special. I think anyone who’s as invested in the arena of short film, as much as we are at Short of the Week, will have recognised that there’s no fortune to make from short film, but the connections you make are worth more than money.
That may seem like a slightly unusual way to start a Best of the Month recap, but for the team here at S/W the upcoming month of October looks to be a time of change – some good, some bad. We have some exciting news to announced shortly, but before that we’ll also be saying goodbye to one of our longest-serving teammates, Ivan Kander (don’t worry, it’s not terminal, he’s just refocusing his time). For those of you who will have received his submission feedback or read one of his articles, you will already know his talent for writing and it will be sorely missed here at S/W HQ. We’re excited to see what he does next and personally, I’ll be repeatedly badgering him (like a jilted lover) over Twitter and Email to see if he wants come back – Rob Munday, Managing Editor.
Now that I’ve finished with that odd eulogy-esque intro, lets take a look at the 22 shorts we featured throughout September. With six world premieres and 10 online premieres, over 70% off our picks for the month were being viewed online for the first time and as usual, the films tackled a range of subjects; from pudding to deathbed confessions and whale hearts to lost civilizations. For the trio of films chosen by our team as Best of the Month, they all have a whiff of existential crisis about them as we follow a man on a journey back into childhood, travel into the future with a clone and wallow in despair alongside a creature topped with cheese & tomato. Enjoy.
Homesick by Will Seefried
A tonal masterpiece and one of our favorites from this year’s SXSW. From the common desire to go back to childhood and fix what went wrong, writer/director Will Seefried spins out a Charlie Kaufmann-esque absurdity that deftly mixes a palette of bittersweet emotions – Jason Sondhi
Pizzamonster by Kurt Platvoet
I love this modern day, gross-out twist on a classic fairytale. It’s wonderfully weird and surprisingly, given that it’s centered around a pizza monster, it never gets cheesy. Brilliant direction, clever script and top notch acting. It’s the type of film that gives so much, yet leaves you hungry for more – Serafima Serafimova
World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt
Don Hertzfeldt’s short film masterpiece is an inspiring, idiosyncratic work of art that transcends the usual short film categorization all together – for example, pop-culture website Slant listed it in its 100 Best Films of the 2010s, without any further subdivision. That seems about right. World of Tomorrow is a deeply felt examination of the human experience that happens to be “only” 16 minutes long, all wrapped up in Hertzfeldt’s particular brand of philosophical sci-fi comedy. – Georg Csarmann
Outside by Emily Murnane
Outside is a simple short, yes. But, its scrappy indie sensibility (made for a whopping $15!) is part of its charm. Moreover, it feels like a great display of Murnane’s unique talents: sharp comedic writing that isn’t afraid to shy away from drama and melancholy – Ivan Kander