Affirming our commitment to review the finest of world cinema regardless of length, The Film Verdict is proud to announce a new Short Films column which will make its debut during the Sundance Film Festival and will be a notable feature of our IFFR Rotterdam coverage. The reviews will be curated by London-based critic Ben Nicholson (email@example.com), whose expert opinions have appeared in Sight & Sound, MUBI Notebook, Little White Lies and Hyperallergic. He has programmed for Sheffield Doc/Fest and the London Short Film Festival. In 2019 he founded ALT/KINO which screens, and publishes writing about, experimental film and artists’ moving image.
This observational documentary follows the travails of a female driver who is part a grass-roots public transit system connecting the villages of northern Colombia.
Life is seen through the eyes of a mysterious creature living beneath the soil in this curious but at times unsettling underground animation from Jeffrey Zablotny.
Gala Hernandez Lopez’s essay film addresses the incel phenomena from a position of fascination and empathy, seeking to understand the pain of isolation in a connected world.International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
This atmospheric animated documentary uses collage and fleeting rotoscoped drawings to convey the brutality and dislocating effect of state care in the GDR.
The life and work of German palaeontologist Johannes Weigelt is itself placed under the microscope in this inventive and unexpectedly charged miniature portrait.
The atmosphere is thick in this humid Andalusian-set drama in which a teenage boy encounters the first pangs of his burgeoning homosexuality.
Lucid dreaming and entangled destinies give an otherworldly aspect to Kalani Gacon’s intoxicating and bittersweet tale of romantic longing in Kathmandu.
A silly joke on a quiet weekend away becomes a painful indicator of impending doom in this low-key Norwegian break-up drama.
This ambiguous single-take drama poignantly depicts a mundane morning in a family home, subtly exploring grief and the ways we hold on and move on.
An 11-year-old girl has a sexual awakening when she joins an older girls’ football team, but she struggles to understand and control taboo desires.
Javier Bardem and Chris Rock star in this febrile melodrama, directed by Sally Potter, about an explosive moment in a relationship.
Inspired by Schubert’s song cycle Die schone Mullerin, Christopher at Sea is a dizzying animated odyssey into solitude and obsessive, unrequited desire.
A harmless ruse to enable some teenage fumbling upsets the equilibrium of a relationship in Kawthar Younis’ pointed chamber piece.
A family is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice in this stomach-churning dystopian tragedy about the chilling effects of social control.
A teenage boy’s worldview is unsettled by a confusing encounter with an older woman in this riveting Mongolian coming-of-age drama.
This deft and low-key drama uses fires raging in the Amazon to explore how a young woman is drawn to religion in search of some form of stability.
A teenage girl’s sense of isolation is writ large across the screen in this frosty Macedonian coming-of-age short that is warmed by a compelling lead performance.
A 1963 BBC interview with James Baldwin, and conducted by Peter Duval Smith, is recreated in this polished and energising narrative short.
Two men share in intimate and intense moment on a deserted shoreline in this short drama about violence, emancipation, and the fine lines between the two.
Story Chen’s Palme D’Or-winning short is a mesmerising journey through memory and melancholia as a woman takes a farewell tour of her hometown.