The jury has selected their winners, the Audience Choice votes have been counted and the S/W team has picked the one short from our 2023 coverage deserving of our Trailblazer prize. It’s officially awards time. Thanks again to our trio of jurors, S/W alums Tomisin Adepeju, Kyle Thrash and Katie White, for taking the time to pick a diverse and exciting selection of winners and for all of you, for voting for our Audience Choice award. 

These picks always cause debate, so if you have your own personal favorites, from the films we featured in 2023, let us know in the comments or share your picks over social media.

🎉 Congratulations to all our winners…

Jury Award for Best Short + Animation short of the year

Les Larmes de la Seine (The Seine’s Tears) by Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer & Alice Letailleur

A student film showcasing great maturity and originality, Les Larmes De La Seine initially impressed the S/W team with its insight and immersive nature, before staggering us with its inventiveness and impact. It’s rare that a film can feel so joyous and haunting in equal measure and we’re all thrilled the jury selected this unique piece for both the Jury and Best Animated Short awards.

Jury Statement: We were blown away by this film. In 8 minutes and 43 seconds, we are immersed in an emotional and textured time and space, utilizing bold aesthetics and techniques to encapsulate this tragic and harrowing moment in history. The filmmaker takes ownership of their own narrative, leading to a rapturous celebration of life, love, and the shared spirit of a specific culture and community.

[Read the Full S/W Review]


Documentary Short of the Year + Audience Choice Award

My Duduś by Tom Krawczyk

A beloved pick among festival-goers, Krawczyk’s short film offered the perfect escape for audiences in 2023: a heartwarming tale featuring an orphaned squirrel and a lonely mother, delivering a dose of warmth and cheer that many craved. At just over eight-minutes long (a rarity for short docs!), I think we could all do with more stories like this in our lives.

Jury Statement: My Duduś is a profoundly emotional piece of work by this filmmaking team. This short documentary beautifully evokes themes around parental love and familial affection with subtlety and nuance, highlighting the unique bond that forms the emotional crux of the film. Watching this film feels like a warm hug.

[Read the Full S/W Review]

Jury Special Mention: Holy Cowboys by Varun Chopra

We don’t often do special mentions in our awards, but both the S/W team and our jury felt that Chopra deserved recognition for creating one of the most beautiful and innovatively constructed short films of the year.

Jury Statement: Holy Cowboys’ bold and courageous filmmaking makes it impossible not to mention. We look forward to seeing more of this story and what the filmmakers make next.

[Read the Full S/W Review]


Live-Action Short of the Year

I Have No Legs, And I Must Run by Yue Li

A confident short from an emerging filmmaking talent, I Have No Legs, and I Must Run captivates with its compelling narrative and deeply relatable emotional core. As Li skillfully portrays the story of a young man grappling with an identity crisis, he showcases remarkable flair and meticulous attention to detail on screen. With Yue Li’s promising talent on display, we predict exciting things in this filmmaker’s future.

Jury Statement: I Have No Legs, and I Must Run is visually mesmerizing. The formal language and tone allude to a filmmaking team with a precise vision of what they want to convey and how to express it. It’s a visceral, tense, and engaging piece.

[Read the Full S/W Review]


The Trailblazer Award

Hidari by Masashi Kawamura and Iku Ogawa

Our Statement: A Jidaigeki (Samurai film) inspired by the legend of a mysterious woodcarver who could bring his sculptures to life, Hidari blends the traditional with the contemporary to create what the Short of the Week team believes is the most exciting and innovative short film released online in 2023. An action film created through energetic stop-motion, kinetic cinematography and inventive character design, Kawamura and Ogawa’s exhilarating six-minute short has the immediate feel of a future cult classic. Bolstered by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, which soared past its initial funding goal, our anticipation for more adventures within the mesmerizing Hidari universe is palpable.

[Read the Full S/W Review]