"I am so not this girl, I never do this." Don't be turned off by the headline, this is a very impressive dramatic short film. Angel of Anywhere is an award-winning short directed by James Kicklighter that has been playing at festivals this year. The story is about an empathetic stripper who chats with his clients and helps them work through their problems. It goes to some very deep, personal places, with a very intelligent script. Angel of Anywhere stars Briana Evigan as Michelle, Ser'Darius Blain as Brian, David A. Gregory as D.C., plus Nihan Gur, Adam Carr, Krystal Conway, and Axel Roldos. It's always great to see a story that challenges us to rethink our initial judgments, and listen more to each other. Definitely worth a watch.
"The old man wasn't that crazy after all, was he?" Time to dip our toes back into the Cloverfield universe. Megan is an impressive "proof-of-concept" 5-min sci-fi short film by a Polish VFX designer / filmmaker named Greg Strasz. It's directly inspired by Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane and the ARG for these and everything else (though not The Cloverfield Paradox, thankfully, since that film sucks). This also reminds me a bit of Battle Los Angeles, but I better not say that. Megan stars Matilda Lutz as Megan, along with Garret T. Sato, Ralf Moeller, Yuki Sakamoto, TJ Misawa, Edwin Modlin II, Paolo Bernardini, and a few others. This is very slick and well-made, I just wish there was more to it, as it ends very abruptly.
"He thought he failed. But he was one of the biggest successes I've ever had." Netflix has unveiled a trailer for a short film titled Zion, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It also won Best Documentary Short at the Atlanta Film Festival, and the "Special Recognition" Audience Award at the Aspen Shortsfest Festival this year. Zion is a portrait of Zion Clark, a young wrestler who was born without legs and grew up in foster care. Wrestling is his passion and was the only constant thing in his childhood. It's not often we feature trailers for short films, but considering this is an award-winning short debuting on Netflix, this is certainly worth highlighting anyway. This looks like a short we all should watch once it's out.
"Who are you? Where are you?" Another lovely short film to watch when you have a free moment. Contact is an animated short made by Katy Wang, who designed, directed, and animated the entire film. Wang just graduated from Kingston University's School of Art last year, and this is her final graduation project, now available online after playing at numerous festivals in 2017. Contact is about a lonely, stranded astronaut who finally makes contact with another person. It's yet another touching parable about love and loneliness and connection. I really dig the animation style and the simplicity of the film, one of my favorite discoveries.
"Weary eyes have witnessed their final blossom. All that is left are withered fields, everlasting the shadow of death…" This short film is pure horror bliss. Sword of the Dead is a short made by filmmaker Stephen Vitale, a B&W action horror about a samurai who arrives on the shores of Matsuoka Island in 1644. There he discovers an island overrun with zombies. Starring Masami Kosaka, with Rome Kanda. I don't think we've seen samurais and zombies mashed together (have we?), but this is so awesome. I love the crisp, clean B&W and the performances from the lead is excellent. I definitely want to see more, what an opening scene.
"My employer is not a man you want to cross." After all the support from fans, Nathan Fillion went off and decided to star in his own live-action, unofficial short film for Uncharted. Fillion has teamed up with director Allan Ungar, producing and starring in this homemade short film about Nathan Drake trying to escape unharmed. In addition to Fillion, this stars Stephen Lang as Sully, Geno Segers as Diego, Mircea Monroe as Elena, and Ernie Reyes Jr. as El Tigre. This film plays up the humor and cockiness of Drake, along with his skills of sneakiness and hand-to-hand combat. It's considerably entertaining even though it's very simply put together, which is probably why this work so well. It's all about the character. Watch below.
"In the end we’ll all become stories. Make sure yours will be the greatest ever told." An impressive promo video has been created titled A Report Of Connected Events, made by PostPanic as a "branded content film" for Liberty Global. Directed by Mischa Rozema, this video combines cinema/storytelling with reality by implementing moments from film & TV into actual real footage of our world. This is almost like one of those images where you have to find all of the pop culture references, but with even more going on because they're hidden in every scene and every shot of this. Some of it is cool, some of it is crazy, some of it is weird - like the fully rendered Ghibli characters. I still think it is worth a watch because it is so unique and geeky.
"Take the shortcut - though the middle of the desert." Another entertaining new short film to watch. Born Forlorn is a "crossover between a musical, comedic short film, and music video" from filmmaker/musician Aaron Beckum, who has made a few other shorts previously (seen here). This is his latest work and it's an amusing, kooky, funky little adventure of sorts. Born Forlorn was shot on 35mm and follows a broken-hearted country western singer with sights set on Hollywood. The cast includes Beckum as Dion Horn, plus Michael Wilson as "Friend with Computer" & Chantal Anderson as "Annie on the Answering Machine". This is a quirky and unusual musical short, worth watching whenever you're in the mood for something odd.
"I need you to get up. Keep moving." Give this short film a look if you're in the mood for some gritty sci-fi action. Ballistic is the latest short film made by Ryan Connolly, and it's set in a post-apocalyptic time in the future. There's not much more of an introduction beyond that, so jump right in and start watching now. Ballistic stars Hannah Ward, Rachel Hendrix, Mark Ashworth, Graham Powell, and Omid Zader. I really like how this short just starts and gets into things fast, without spending too much time trying to explain anything. Just put us right in the middle of it and we can figure it out as it goes along. Watch below.
"Just don't get it anyone's way." Time for another chilling horror short film. This one is titled Surveyor, made by English filmmaker John Panton. It's a companion piece to Panton's other supernatural short film Line Signal. Surveyor is about a surveyor who is hired to inspect an abandoned mansion for a client who is looking to renovate it. As you can suspect, when he arrives and begins his work he discovers there's more to this mansion than expected. Spookiness ensues. The film stars Aidan Casey, Katie Villa, Alex Winters, Mike Wozniak, and Cromerty York. This is a good short set around one place with an eerie atmosphere.
"I've missed you so much… It's a great pleasure to see you and your young man." Watch this new dramatic short film I Do Not Sleep, made by talented writer Sophie Monks Kaufman, who writes for Little White Lies. This is Sophie's first short film, which she wrote and directed, and it took 10 months to complete - even though it only runs 10 minutes. The short is about a grieving young woman who finds that the spirit of a lost loved one is still shaping her relationships. The cast includes Richard Kiess as Max, Elizabeth Sankey as Clarisse, with Linda Large. I love all the shots of the trees in this, and how spiritual the film is. Enjoy it.
Ready player one? Insert coin to play. This two-minute short film Tank is an exciting, nerdy throwback to 80's arcade games and it's a must watch for geeks everywhere. Tank is made by Red Giant's Chief Creative Officer, Stu Maschwitz (@5tu), who wanted to make something to pay homage to vector arcade games of the 80's - specifically Battlezone and Star Wars, though this definitely has a Tron vibe. This also features a totally rad electro score created by Ben Worley. This isn't just all about the visuals - there's a cool story to follow as well. Tank is a fun, homemade short film that is super geeky and yet isn't worthless entertainment. This is why I love short films - they're always so creatively unique and have something to say. Watch below.