Co-Founder & Managing Editor / @jasondhi
In 2017 I fell back in love with shorts. I’d spent 2016 in a bit of burnout—after close to 5 years on Vimeo’s Staff Picks team, the daily grind of watching had started to take its toll. As i took on new management responsibilities, and lead new initiatives here at S/W, I was busier than ever and it was getting harder and harder to bring myself to click that play button
I left Vimeo in 2016 however, and took a nice break from watching. I didn’t check my Vimeo feed for 9 months! I went to film fests of course, but with our team here bigger than ever, I let our capable crew of curators, lead by our editors, Ivan and Rob, really take over on submissions. I wrote a lot still, but focused more on strategy, industry news, and macro trends.
2017 was a new year though. Refreshed, I jumped back in to the fray, scouring the world’s festivals, and digging deep for undiscovered gems. It was great! That euphoric feeling of watching a filmmaker nail that mysterious confluence of premise and execution brought me joy again. That sense of pride of sharing an under-seen or under-appreciated work came back in full force.
Looking at my Top Ten list, I’m thankful to note that I love each of these films, and how they reflect my tastes and philosophy regarding shorts. They are each conceptually strong—some like Backstory or Happiness do so in huge sweeping ways, others like Unremarkable or Curve by being intimate and focused. Even those that are more character-based develop through strong themes that comment on our world—films like I Know You From Somewhere or Hot Seat, which tackle sociology and psychology through the frames of the internet and sex—and they pull it off in ways that seem downright important.
We featured more shorts than ever before on the site in 2017, and yet, somehow, I think the overall quality was also higher than ever before. Amidst a pessimistic period for feature films, and with TV coming down from it’s Golden-era hype, it doesn’t feel like we need to champion short film any longer. The form will always need critics and curators, but the appeal is increasingly evident to more and more people, and the quality undeniable.