“The Magic of Storytelling: Films in a Flash”

Francis Ford Coppola says the earliest filmmakers were magicians. Today, the abracadabra that began the industry is clearly alive and thriving as more and more filmmakers are busy creating brief and highly focused short-short films. When a mood, an important moment, or even an entire brimming world is condensed into a small and mesmerizing span of time, some potent and powerful magic is at work.

The tiny spellbinders featured in this essay are five to ten minutes in duration (some are even shorter and some a bit longer) and they really are a case of “now you see them, now you don’t.” But even though brief, these flashes of film magic are casting some unforgettable spells. The exploration and experimenting never stops and this trend is becoming increasingly important to storytelling and to culture too. How far such mini films have developed will be even clearer after viewing the links at the end of this article.

Types of Online Short-Short Films

Thanks to the Internet it is now easy to view thousands of short-short films from all over the world. Since almost anyone can now make films, due to readily available technology, even the briefest glimpse shows that the quality of the online films runs the gamut. At one end are simple amateur efforts done for fun or done to fulfill high school or college course requirements. At the other end are clearly professional and highly artistic productions, many of which are major award winners. Films at either end are evidence of the strong interest in such tiny magical treasures and an indication of their versatility and adaptability.

These modern-day mini films are accomplished shape-shifters, assuming different forms, genres, and appearances. Some mimic silent black and white films of old (some without any dialogue at all) while other black-and-white films include subtitles. Still other mini films take on a more modern appearance through the use of full color and the addition of plenty of sound and music. Animation also plays a large part in the magic of many mini films. Creators of animated films make use of both familiar animation techniques and of highly uncommon techniques. In general, mini films range from straightforward narratives to highly experimental methods for presenting a brief story or idea.

Some Aim Directly For The Screen 

Some short-short pieces are made specifically for film presentation. While some of the films found online are created by non-professional filmmakers having some creative fun, or by students hoping to learn the art of filmmaking, others are created for the highest of competitions. Many aim for a place in various film festivals, of which there are hundreds throughout the world. Some of these world-wide contests are highly prestigious events for filmmakers of all genres. Some makers of mini films compete for and win one of the highest awards of all—the Academy Award.

Television is embracing short-short films as well. ShortsHD, which launched in Europe in 2008 and in the United States in 2010, is dedicated to short-shorts and is a cable and satellite channel. Billions of people all over the world have access.

Some Are Film Adaptations

While some mini films are created especially for film presentation, others begin as text and then are later adapted to film. These adaptations are often based on successful and well-known prose or poetry. Stories originally in text form are given a new or additional life—a life apart from and different than the form in which they began. Some adaptations closely follow the original stories while others loosely touch on the texts that came before. Over the years, short-short stories or poems from all types of respected writers have been adapted to film since single stand-alone pieces can and often do make fine and magical mini film adaptations.

One highly successful single-story adaptation is Lawrence C. Connolly’s short-short “Echoes.” The story, in text form, was featured in over a dozen publications worldwide and was twice adapted to film. The first adaptation, a film festival production, was filmed in Hollywood by Steve Muscarella. The second adaptation, just eight minutes in duration, was directed by Rodney Altman and that adaptation won Best Achievement in Cinematography at the Fusion Film Festival in New York City in March 2004.

Another contemporary short-short story that made a successful leap from text to screen is Katharine Weber’s “Sleeping” The story was originally published in Vestal Review and later republished in James Thomas and Robert Shapard’s Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories. The story was then adapted to film and some of the awards it won include Best Film/Best Director (in the EuropShorts Film Festival), Best Film/Audience Choice (in the Jersey Shore Film Festival), Best Film (in the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival), Best Film/Audience Choice (in the Asheville Film Festival), and Best Film/Audience Choice (in the Soul4Reel Film Festival).

Other writers whose short-short texts have been adapted to film (whether authorized or unauthorized productions) include Italo Calvino, Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, John Cheever, Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonegut, Donald Barthelme, Yasunari Kawabata, H. G. Wells, T.S. Eliot, Joyce Carol Oates, Maxine Chernoff, Lydia Davis, Clarice Lispector, W. S. Merwin, Peter Markus, Stace Budzko, Margaret Atwood, E.B. White, Harlan Ellison, Kate Chopin, Sherwood Anderson, Dylan Thomas, William Faulkner, Alice Walker, H.H. Munro (Saki), Ambrose Bierce, Octavio Paz, Dave Eggers, Lafcadio Hearn, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Bukowski, and many, many more.

Adaptations To Longer Films

Just as some authors have created novels out of several short-short stories (for instance, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams), some filmmakers have created longer or even feature-length films by combining several mini films.

Exquisite Corpse (Michael Arnzen)

One such longer film created from several short-shorts is Exquisite Corpse (2006). This highly experimental film is a series of adaptations from Michael Arnzen’s award-winning flash fiction collection, 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories (and which drew from some of his poetry too). The film is a collaboration of international independent film directors, multimedia artists, and animators who came together to create the longer montage film.

$9.99 (Etgar Keret)

Etgar Keret, an Israeli writer and filmmaker, has seen great success both for his writing as well as for his film adaptations. Many of his short-short stories have been adapted as stand-alone mini films. Those films include “One Hundred Percent,” “Monkey Say, Monkey Do,” “Good-Looking Couple,” “What Do We Have In Our Pockets,” “What About Me?,” and “Crazy Glue.” His recent “Lieland” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and did a festival circuit run in the United States and Europe. Keret’s “A Buck’s Worth” was directed by Tatia Rosenthal and then Rosenthal and Keret went on to make a feature film titled $9.99. The 2008 film is a weaving together of some of Keret’s short-short stories.

Short Cuts (Raymond Carver)

One of the earlier and most famous films that combined short-short stories to create a longer feature-length film made use of the work of Raymond Carver. Carver is a renowned short-short story writer and twenty-three of his stories were woven into the feature-length film Short Cuts. The film, directed by Robert Altman, won the Golden Globe Award in 1994 and was also nominated for a Special Achievement Award. The film depicts the way lives intersect in twenty-two Los Angeles characters. Some of the stars in the film are Andie McDowell, Tom Waites, Mathew Modine, Lily Tomlin, Tim Robbins, Jack Lemon, Julianne Moore, Anne Archer, and many others.

The Sadness of Sex (Barry Yourgrau)

Another contemporary film (1995) was created from the stories in Barry Yourgrau’s collection titled The Sadness of Sex. Fifteen stories from that collection were woven together to create a feature film of the same name. The postmodern comedy-romance montage stars Yourgrau himself and the film depicts many hilarious phases and types of love. Filmmakers used different types of camera work along with various types of music to distinguish between the stories.

Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground

This 1997 film was produced for television by Home Box Office. Each of the ten stories that comprise the film were selected as the winners of a writing contest by New Yorkers about their experiences in the New York subway. Some of the accomplished actors in the films are Denis Leary, Jerry Stiller, Bonnie Hunt, George T. Odom, and Rosie Perez.

Tube Tales

This 1999 film is composed of nine short-short films. The stories are true-life stories based on experiences of passengers of the London Underground. The stories were submitted to Time Out magazine and the best of the entries were then directed by nine directors, each story scripted and filmed independently of each other. In the film Ewan McGregor and Jude Law made their debuts as directors .

Paris, je t’aime

Another anthology film (2006), translated as Paris, I Love You, is composed of eighteen short-short films set in different locations. The film was directed by twenty-two directors and some of the international stars in the various films are Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Ben Gazarra, and Gena Rowlands. The film premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and opened in the U.S. in 2007.

To Each His Own Cinema: A Declaration of Love to the Big Screen

(French: Chacun son cinéma : une déclaration d’amour au grand écran)

This is also an anthology film (2007). It was commissioned for the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival and is composed of 34 short films by renowned directors from 25 countries. Each film expresses “the state of mind of the moment as inspired by the motion picture theater.”

New York, I Love You

This film (2008) is a romantic-comedy-drama collaboration between various imaginative filmmakers and which features an all-star cast. These eleven stories, each by a different director, represent the city’s heartbeat. Some of the stars in the film are Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Andy Garcia, Christina Ricci, John Hurt, Eli Wallach, and Cloris Leachman (and others). The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the U.S. in 2009.

Taking Shelter

Then comes the granddaddy of films composed of short-short work (this time tiny film clips) woven together to create a feature-length movie. Jonathan Culp, a Toronto-based filmmaker, edited together 434 Canadian films from the 1970s and 1980s. This was a period some call the “tax shelter era” and many films produced in this era were considered mostly without artistic merit. But Culp, working his brand of film collage magic, turned those clips into avant-garde art. The film, about aliens invading Canada, had its world premiere July 2015 in Toronto.

So Let The Magic Begin . .

Now for a sampling of interesting short-short work that has been created for or adapted to film (with additional links to where even more can be viewed). The longest films selected will be around ten minutes in duration (one or two might be slightly longer) while most will be much shorter, including one film, “Fresh Guacamole,” just 100 seconds long, which is the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar. This sampling, selected for an interesting variety, will show different types of films and diverse techniques and presentation styles. (However, be warned that some films might not be suitable for children.)

Now set aside a couple of evenings to allow the magic of movies to enthrall you. Fully experience the enchantment. Be dazzled by the glamour (in the old sense of the word) of these fascinating short-short films. Watch them in the order in which they appear in the links below or pick and choose what seems most appealing. Now let the shows and the magic begin . . . .

MINI-FILMS

Before viewing the amazing films below, first check out what might be the world’s oldest motion picture (1865) combined with what might be the world’s oldest sound recording (1857) here Then see the astounding magic at work today in the links below.

“Afterlife”

By Ishu Patel, 1978. Animated. Explores the notion of dying. Based on recent studies, case histories, and ancient myths.

“The Alphabet”

A David Lynch experimental film. Quite bizarre.

“An Artist”

by Michèle Cournoyer, 1994. Animated film based on Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child.

“Balance”

Directors: Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein. Academy Award for Best Animated Short (1989).

“The Balloon”

Based on Donald Barthelme’s story. Directed by Martynas Zaremba.

“Le Bal Des Méduses”

ESMA Film. Directors : Benjamin Cavarretta, Clément Perroche, Julien Labussière, Martin L’Anton, Maxime Ménard, Viviane Dall’Agnol. 3-D animation.

“A Boy and His Atom”

Guinness World Record holder for World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film. IBM researchers created a film made with atoms and which is so small it is only visible when magnified 100 million times.

“Chienne d’Histoire”

Animated drama. Winner of the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival, 2010. Directed by Serge Avedikian, (France, 2010).

“Clara”

Animated. Won Special Mention and was a Best Short Film nominee at the Cannes Film Festival (2005). Directed by Van Sowerwine.

“Come Again in Spring”

Based on a story by Richard Kennedy.

“The Critic”

Voice: Mel Brooks (who is also the writer). Won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Subject (1964).

“The Distance From The Moon”

Based on the Italo Calvino story. Narrated in Hebrew with English subtitles. Stop-motion cut outs.

“Doodlebug”

Film by Christopher Nolan .

“The Dumb Man”

Animated film based on a story by Sherwood Anderson.

“Echoes”

Based on an award-winning story by Lawrence C. Connelly. Directed by Rodney Altman.

“Elefante”

Written & Directed by Pablo Larcuen. Winner of Best Short Film at SITGES 2012. Official Selection Clermont-Ferrand 2012 (English subtitles)

“Every Child”

by Eugene Fedorenko, 1979. This film is the Canadian contribution to an hour-long feature film celebrating UNESCO’s Year of the Child. The film won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film

Exquisite Corpse

Trailer An experimental “Frankenstein of film.” A collaboration of international filmmakers who  created dark material based on the short-short horror stories (and poems) of Michael Arnzen. The 17-minute film was produced by Jim Minton. Below are individual movies/ segments of the film (not all that composed the film are available for viewing).

“The Scab”
“Velcro”

“In the Balance”

“The Falling Girl”

Trailer for a film based on a story by Dino Buzatti. Winner of several awards.

“The Family That Dwelt Apart”

Based on E.B. White’s story. Directed by Yvon Mallette. Oscar-nominated animation.

“Father and Daughter”

Won Best Short Animation at Academy Awards (2000). Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit.

“La Fenêtre”

ESMA Film–École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques, an education facility in France specializing in applied arts, graphic design, architecture, photography and animation. (English subtitles)

“Five Windows”

Neo-noir thriller written and directed by Daniel and Adam Cooper on the Motion Picture Institute soundstage. Most of the crew are graduates of Motion Picture Institute

“Flu”

Based on a story by Stuart Dybek.

“Francis”

Based on a story by Dave Eggers. Directed by Richard Hickey. Broadcaster Ira Glass asked six American writers to create a short film about adventure and Eggers’ much-acclaimed story was turned into this short film. The film has been shown at Cannes Film Festival and Raindance.

“Fresh Guacamole”

A 2012 animated short film written and directed by PES. The shortest film (100 seconds) ever nominated for an Oscar (2013 for ‘Best Animated Short Film).

“A Galaxy Over There”

Directed by Martin Earle. Based on Nobel Prize winner Tomas Tranströmer’ poem, “Schubertiana.” The film, Earle’s graduation project at the Royal College of Art in London, was selected for the Competition at the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in 2010.

“Good, Brother”

Adaptation of a story by Peter Markus. Directed by Greg Fadell and Matt Zacharias

“The Happiest Man in the World”

Short film by Paul A. Toth

“Harrison Bergeron”

Based Kurt Vonnegut’s story. A Queen Mary, University of London Creative Production.

“Having Intended To Merely Pick On An Oil Company, The Poem Goes Awry”

Adapted from Bob Hicok’s poem by Joanna Kohler.

“Heart”

Shown at many international film festivals. Directed by Erick Oh, supported by Matt Groening

“He Took His Skin Off For Me”

Adaptation of a story by Maria Hummer, directed by Ben Aston. A London Film School production. Selection for several film festivals.

“Hills Like White Elephants”

Based on Ernest Hemingway’s story. Directed by Yuriy Mikitchenko and Sean Brown.

“How To Be A Poet”

Alastair Cook film, poem by Dylan Thomas (from “A Mischief”). Commissioned by Chapter Arts Centre for Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival (part of the Dylan Thomas 100 celebrations).

“How To Set A House On Fire”

Adapted from Stace Budzko’s short story. Directed by Henry Zaballos.

“I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”

Based on Harlan Ellison’s story. Directed by Landon Richmond.

“Imaginary Girl”

Music and video by David Lynch.  A film of bizarre shapes, textures, and music.

“Jealous Husband Returns in the Form of a Parrot”

Based on Robert Olen Butler’s story.  Directed by Grace Ong-Burd and Ryan Burd.

“The Job”

Writing, editing, and directing by John McMurtrie and Joseph Thomas . Cannes Film Festival Short. Glasgow 48 Hour Film Project 2013. Winner of Best Film as well as winning Best Use of Genre at Filmapalooza 2014 in New Orleans.

“Junk”

Multi-award winning film produced at London animation studio Th1ng by house director Kirk Hendry in association with the UK Film Council.

“Karl”

Based on a prose poem by Dag Straumsvåg. Filmmaker Scott Wenner.

“Knotted”

Directed by Tom Shell.  Screenplay by Paul Toth

“The Lark”

Stop-motion/ live action/claymation film written and directed by Gil Kenan (Vice Shorts) for his graduate thesis. Quite surreal and disturbing.

“Last Man Standing”

Silent film. Won Best Film, Pittsburgh 48HR Film Project 2014. Also awarded for Sound Design, and one of four Audience Choice awards.

“Leonard In Slow Motion”

VICE Shorts. Directed by Pete Livolsi.

“Little Miss Eyeflap”

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2010). Directed by Iram Haq. (English subtitles)

“Love Suicides”

Based on Yasunari Kawabata’s story. Directed by Edmond Yeo.

“The Man Who Shouted Theresa”

Based on Italo Calvino’s story. English subtitles. Directed by Zack Jones.

“Mermaid”

Animation directed by Aleksandr Petrov. Nominated for an Oscar (1997).

“Milk”

Noir. Directed by Konstantinos Fragoulis and Alexandros Sipsidis.

“Milk and Blood”

Directed by Markus Rainer-Englmair. Produced by Columbia University.

“Mindscape”

Directed by Jacques Drouin (1976). Uses the pinscreen animation technique and is a film without words.

“The Missing Scarf”

Animated dark-comedy. Winner of 16 international awards and landed a place on the Academy Awards shortlist. The film was then selected to participate in the Oscar theatrical release, screening in more than 300 theatres throughout North America. Directed by Eoin Duffy. )

“Munro”

Written by Jules Feiffer and directed by Gene Deitch. Won an Academy Award for Animated Short Film (1961).

“The Mysterious Arrival of an Unusual Letter”

Based on a piece by Mark Strand. A Scott Wenner MoPo film.

“Mytho Logic”

English subtitles. Created, directed and animated by Jessica Ambron, Amandine Aramin, Alexandre Belbari, Guillaume Poitel, Yannick Vincent. Awards: Festival Numeo 2011 – First Prize Jury, Festival Tolosa Tourne – Audience Award, Festival Voix d’Etoiles 2010.

“New Boy”

Based on Roddy Doyle’s story. Won Best Narrative Short at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar. Director Steph Green.

New York, I Love You

Trailer

Anthology comedy-drama film consisting of eleven short films, each one by a different director (2008). 

$9.99

Trailer 

In $9.99 several stories written by Etgar Keret are woven together. The animated film is directed by Tatia Rosenthal. Below are some film adaptations of various Keret stories (with various directors).

“A Buck’s Worth”

“Crazy Glue”

“A Good Looking Couple”

“Lieland”

“Monkey Say, Monkey Do”

“What About Me?”

“What Do We Have In Our Pockets?”

“Nirvana”

Based on Charles Bukowski’s story. Directed by Patrick Biesemans.

“An Occurrence at Owl Creek”

Based on Ambrose Bierce’s story. Directed by Riley Solter.

“The Open Window”

Based on a story by H. H. Munro (Saki) Aired on USA in 1986, accompanying episodes of the new ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents.’

“Other Love”

Based on fragments of Clarice Lispector’s “Agua Viva.” Directed by Elizabeth Zarek. (English subtitles.)

“The Outsider”

Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story, for the Seattle Film Institute. Directed by Dan Oles. Uses Super eight film.

“Paperman”

Merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation. Directed by John Kahrs. Won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and won an Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject.

Paris, je t’aime

Trailer

Paris, je t’aime is a two-hour anthology film (2006) consisting of eighteen short films set in different areas in Paris. The short pieces feature actors of various nationalities.  These are a few of the mini-films:

“True” (stars Natalie Portman)

“Quai de Seine” (English subtitles)

“Tuileries” (Ethan and Joel Coen, stars Steve Buscemi)

“Place des Fêtes  (English subtitles)

“Le Marais” (English subtitles)

“Perfection”

Writer and Director: Karen Lin. Won New Director/ New Vision Award at the Visual Communications Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival (2004) and won First Place for Best Short Film at the Fall River Festival of the Arts (2004).

“Piano Works 13”

Experimental film featuring four dance styles. Directed by Julien Martorell. Official Selection at ÉCU  European Experimental Film Choreography program Mecal International Short Film Festival (2013) and Official Selection for Dance and Media Japan International VideoDance Festival (2013).

“Pixels”

New York is invaded by 8-bit creatures. Film by Patrick Jean.

“Please Say Something”

Animated film directed by David O’Reilly. Won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival (2009), and won Best Narrative Short at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (2009). It also won several other awards.   

“Robes of War”

Film by Michèle Cournoyer. Animated lyrical exploration of the impact of war on women.

The Sadness of Sex

Barry Yourgrau stories woven together in a feature-length film.

Trailer Directed by Rupert Wainwright, 1995.

Some of the individual stories from the film:

“Poison” (episode one of the feature-length film)

“Silver Arrows”

“Domestic Intelligence”

“Riddle”

“Fin de Siecle”

“The School”

Adapted from Donald Barthelme’s story. Directed by Jonathan Hayes.

“Schwarzfahrer”

Won an Oscar for Best Short Film (1994) (plus four other awards). Directed by Pepe Danquart.

Short Cuts

Several Raymond Carver stories were woven together and adapted to a feature-length film

Trailer

Below are some film adaptations of various Carver stories.

“Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?”

“Cathedral”

“Why Don’t You Dance?”

“Why Don’t You Dance?”  (Animation)

“Everything Must Go” Monologue by Will Farrell

“Popular Mechanics” Alone Wolf Pictures

“A Small, Good Thing” (from Short Cuts)

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love“

“The Silent City”

Directed by Ruari Robinson. Animated.

“Skin”

Longest of the selected films (approx. 12 1/2 minutes). Directed by Jordana Spiro. Premiered at the  Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at SXSW, AFI, Palm Springs, and elsewhere.

“Sleeping” (Trailer)

Based on a story by Katharine Weber. Winner of several awards. Director: Doug Conant.

“Sniffer”

Cannes Winners on Short Film. Directed by Arsa Dhima.

“Spirit in the Dark”

A Motion Poem based on Robert Gibb’s story. Filmmaker Tom Jacobsen uses live actors, dollhouse miniatures, and an antique Victrola. Produced with Best American Poetry.

“Stairway To Light”

Director: Sammy Lee.  Part of John Nesbitt’s Passing Parade series. The film tells the story of Philippe Pinel and his efforts to keep the mentally ill from being viewed and treated as animals. Oscar Winner for 1945.

“Stealin’ An Arm Ain’t No Crime”

A dance film inspired by the short story ‘One Arm’ by Yasunari Kawabata.

“The Street”

Award-winning story by Mordecai Richler.  The film makes use of washes of watercolor and ink by filmmaker Caroline Leaf. Nominated for an Academy Award in animation.

“Strings”

Animated film using painting on glass and stop-action filming.  Directed by Wendy Tilby.

Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground

The ten winning stories in a writing contest that asked for real-life experiences in New York City subways. Produced by Home Box Office.

“Sweet Cocoon”

Won Highly Recommended Short Film at the 2015 Oscars. Directors : Matéo Bernard, Matthias Bruget, Jonathan Duret, Manon Marco, Quentin Puiraveau–© ESMA – Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques

Taking Shelter

Jonathan Culp’s montage film from 434 Canadian films.

“The Terrible Old Man”

Animation based on H. P. Lovecraft’s story. Animation by Doug Simon and Sean Kearney.

“There’s A Man In The Habit of Hitting Me In The Head With An Umbrella”

Based on the Fernando Sorrentino story.  Film by XXM (Xiaoming Xue) and Linus Rost

“This Is A Recorded Message”

Experimental animation exploring consumerism in a material world. Uses thousands of cut-out ads. Some nudity. Directed by Jean-Thomas Bédard.

To Each His Own Cinema

French: Chacun son cinéma : une déclaration d’amour au grand écran) is an anthology film (2007) commissioned for the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival. The anthology includes 34 short films, each 3 minutes in length, by 36 acclaimed directors. The filmmakers represent five continents and 25 countries. Below is the trailer and six films from that anthology.

Trailer

“Anna”  Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

“Absurda” Directed by David Lynch

“Dans L’Obscurite” Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne

“One Fine Day” Directed by Takeshi Kitano

“Where Is My Romeo?” Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

“World Cinema” Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

“Tragic Story With Happy Ending”

Film by Regina Pessoa. Uses photocopies with images scratched into India ink on glossy paper.

Tube Tales

All nine stories in this collection film can be viewed at the link above. All the stories were submitted to a competition for Time Out magazine and they are based on true-life experiences in the London Underground.

“20Hz”

Grand Prize winner of Quantum Shorts 2014. Created by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. The film is a visualization of data captured during a geomagnetic storm in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“The Use of Force”

Based on William Carlos Williams’ story. Adapted, directed, and produced by Ben Claman.

“Vincent”

Stop-motion short horror film written, designed, and directed by Tim Burton. Narrated by Vincent Price. Shot in the style of German Expressionism of the 1920s. Won several awards at film festivals in Chicago, Seattle, and London and won two awards at Chico and the Critics Prize at the Annecy Film Festival in France.

“Wayfarers”

Won Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival (2005). Directed by Igor Strembitsky.

“What Is That?”

Direced by Constantin Pilavios.

“When At A Certain Party In NYC”

Poem by Erin Belieu, film by Amy Schmitt.

“When the Men  Men Go Off to War”

Poem by Victoria Kelly, film by Nora Dorsey.

“White Fur”

Adaptation of Mark Wunderlich’s poem, which was inspired by Caravaggio’s “Narcissus” (a poem within a poem). Directed by Georgia Tribuiani.

“With Raised Hands”

Directed by Mitko Panov. Won the Palm d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival in

1991.

Where Can More Mini Films Be Viewed?

CGBros

Their mission is “to be curators of the highest quality professional digital art from around the world.” They feature VFX, 3D animation, motion graphics design, and feature student and independent short films.

Cinematic Poems

A collection of Cinematic Poem Short Films (of prose or poetry). Films are usually five minutes or less in duration and are all shot with High Definition (HD) technology. All films are also scored with an original, classical, or orchestrated musical piece.

Dollar Babies Films

This is an idea developed by best-selling author Stephen King. In exchange for $1, King grants a select group of students and aspiring filmmakers or theater producers permission to adapt one of his short stories. The film formats range from home video to professional 35 mm film and the budgets range from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

ESMA Films

The films produced by ESMA come from École Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques, an educational facility in France. The school specializes in applied arts, graphic design, architecture, photography, animation and features short films done by their students. Many are quite magical in nature.

FILM Shorts (Fs)

A selection site showing the best short films from around the world from the last few decades. The latest competition winners can be viewed here.

Filmpoem

An international film festival and workshop project founded by Alastair Cook. The  short-short films created focus on antique technologies including the combination of video and hand-developed film stock.

Global Short Film Network (GSFN)

Part of the Jesus Film project. Films collected at this site here have an underlying Biblical theme.

Motherboard

An online magazine and video channel launched by VICE in 2009 “dedicated to the intersection of technology, science and humans.” They also have a “Motherboard Minute” where the documentaries are around one minute in duration.

Motionpoems, Inc.

Co-founded by Todd Bass and Angella Kassube in 2008. Some exciting and highly artistic border-crossing work is being produced through Motionpoems Inc.. Their hi-def films screen at festivals, cinemas, libraries, museums, bookstores, and schools.

National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Over 3,000 films are available at this site, including award-winning films from around the world. Some have been Oscar nominees or winners.

ShortsBay

This site features a large collection of short films from around the world, including major award winners.

The Smalls

This site features short-short films by independent filmmakers.

Tropfest

Claims to be the world’s largest short film festival (Australia).

VICE Short Films

Vice, which premiered April 5, 2013 on HBO, is a documentary expose TV-series created and hosted by Shane Smith of Vice magazine. In addition to other work they produce, they now offer a series of intriguing short-short films.

Pamelyn Casto

About Pamelyn Casto

Pamelyn Casto is a freelance writer whose work on flash fiction has appeared in several publications including _Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers and Writer's in the Field_ (Tara Masih, Ed., Rose Metal Press, 2009), _Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading_ (Kenneth Womack, Ed., Greenwood Press, 2008), and in various issues of Writer's Digest (and their other publications). Her work was also nominated for a Pushcart Award and she has taught several popular online courses in flash fiction (and in haibun). For fifteen years she served as administrator for a busy online flash fiction workshop. Her areas of ongoing research include all aspects of ancient Greek culture, the witchcraze era of early modern European history, and a particular and highly focused aspect of Nazi Germany. Since discovering the vast resources of the Internet, she has chosen to give up sleeping.