Last Tuesday we announced a new initiative, a charitable film challenge called #ShelterShorts which is designed to foster space for your creativity to live, even while the spaces we actually live are unusually restricted. From filmmakers Lance Oppenheim, Max McGillivray, and with the support of our partners at Sugar23 along with love from Vimeo, we were really pleased with the initial reception: a spotlight in Deadline, over 100 submissions, nearly $4000 raised for World Central Kitchen, and oodles of supportive outreach on social media. 

#ShelterShorts is ongoing and will continue to run as long as shelter-in-place rules make it necessary, so if you’re thinking about participating there is plenty of time. Get to work, submit your film, and remember to share the hashtag and donation link in the description of your post. In the meantime celebrate and be inspired by some of our favorite films from this first week!


Bad Will Hunting

Dir: Danny Madden

The #ShelterShorts kick-off film from the brothers Madden. Fresh off the premiere of his feature Beast Beast at Sundance in January, Danny casts one of the lead actors of that film (his brother Will) in this simple but ingenious chase short. With charmingly old-school techniques lending visceral propulsion the action and lo-fi special effects that will make you LOL, this 5min piece is a perfect introduction to the spirit of the challenge. 


Dir: Mo Wynne

From NYC-filmmaker Mo Wynne comes this charming 90sec slice of goodwill. Crowdsourcing from her community, Wynne aggregates a slide show of simple moments and sensations that evoke pleasure and thankfulness. Gratitude is an invitation to reflect upon what was, and continues to be, good about ourselves and our world. 

I’ve Been Hearing Some Strange Noises From My Attic…

Dir: Rob Savage

A rising star of the U.K. genre scene, three-time alum Rob Savage is perhaps best known for his Sundance short film hit Dawn of the Deaf, but we doubt that will stay as his primary claim to fame for long. With this short, Savage riffs on the nascent (like 6-week old?) “Zoom-party” genre to make 2min short that packs quite the thrill. The charm is the interplay between the cast of friends and the primary plot, which is both charmingly edited, and perhaps unrehearsed? The ambiguity of the document plays with classic found-footage tropes in a delicious way.

Stay at Home: A Little Film

Dir: Ryan Brotherston

A cute and funny slice-of-life animation that depicts a day of child-rearing in all its glorious mundanity. From London-based creator Ryan Brotherston, the piece is a delight of observational comedy that playfully revels in our foibles and attempts to stay sane while in quarantine. 

Shelter In Place

Dir: Matthew Beck

Already a few trends are emerging in the work we’re seeing from lockdown, and one is an emphasis on personal communities—the strain they are under, and the desire of people to do the very normal thing of talking together about how it is all going. Many of these works are editing video calls, but Beck’s piece provides a unique and compelling visual and thematic frame to this type of work, as he calls his NYC neighbors and photographs them from a distance talking at their windowsills. The vertical video format is perfectly employed here, emphasizing the unique aspect of Manhattan-living, and the result is not only striking aesthetically, but emotionally too, as rather than connecting those who are far-flung, it highlights the disruption to, but resilience of, the sometime underappreciated bonds we share with those closest to us in proximity. 


To watch more #ShelterShorts stayed tuned for a weekly post here on S/W or visit the project’s website, Vimeo channel, Vimeo group, or browse the #ShelterShorts hashtag on YouTube and Instagram.