Affirming our commitment to review the finest of world cinema regardless of length, The Film Verdict’s Short Films column is a unique feature that recognizes the growing influence of shorts on the film industry and the role they play in the careers of young filmmakers in particular. The reviews are curated by London-based critic Ben Nicholson (firstname.lastname@example.org), whose expert opinions have appeared in Sight & Sound, MUBI Notebook, Little White Lies and Hyperallergic. He has programmed for Sheffield DocFest and the London Short Film Festival and in 2019 founded ALT/KINO, which screens and publishes writing about experimental film. He is the artistic director of the Alpha Film Festival, the first shorts festival in the metaverse.
Crypto-currencies and cryogenics become intertwined in Gala Hernandez Lopez’s illusory dual-screen collage which ruminates on humanity’s speculative relationship with the future, for here am i sitting in a tin can far above the world.
A filmmaker explores her struggles with motherhood and artistic stimulus through a correspondence and a short film about birdwatching in That’s All from Me, a deft epistolary short.
A man has his heart removed in an attempt to lessen his existential anguish in Fanny Sorgo and Eva Pedroza’s expressive, lingering animation, Tako Tsubo.
The outmoded bleach sellers of Tangier offer a window to a simpler time and a resistance against rampant growth in Hicham Gardaf’s tranquil documentary, In Praise of Slowness.
An elderly couple retreats from the outside world in preparation for the launch of three artificial moons in the strange and meditative experimental documentary, The Moon Also Rises.
Santiago, Chile is both brought into focus and dreamily abstracted in Towards the Sun, Far from the Centre, a languid city symphony featuring a queer couple looking for a space in which they can express themselves.
A wonderfully observed sketch of a family lunch in late-1990s China, Remains of the Hot Day not only captures period mood but is compiled from glimpses of myriad miniature dramas.
A young girl avoiding her home and a woman returning to hers after a long absence form a brief but profound bond in Selin Oksuzoglu sparkling short, Bye Bye Turtle.
A young girl draws a circle on the ground and people are drawn to stand within its borders in Joung Yumi’s typically mannered and strangely engrossing monochrome animation.
A teenager navigates the social pressures of school and the expectations of family in Muna, a thoughtful coming-of-age drama about personal desires and dislocated grief.
Language is an instrument of oppression and a tool to combat it in Tevin Kimathi and Millan Tarus’ charming tale of childhood resistance, Stero.
Ilir Hasanaj’s deeply empathetic documentary ‘Workers’ Wings’, is centred on manual labourers who have suffered workplace injuries, is a tender and intimate marvel.
In the spritely and tactile essayistic ode to a heroine of Greek myth Daphne was a torso ending in leaves, Catriona Gallagher reflects on the legacy of an ancient arboreal transformation.
‘History Is Written at Night’ is an unusual portrait of the blackouts that have plagued Cuba over the past few years and an exquisite exercise in atmosphere.
In the 16-minute short DUCK, visual artist Rachel Maclean co-opts the inherent suspicions of cinematic espionage to craft this surreal mash-up about the escalating media paranoia.
Just over a dozen artworks are observed in situ in 14 Paintings, a patient but cumulatively fascinating cross-section portrait of contemporary China.
Sirin Bahar Demirel’s stimulating bricolage short, Between Delicate and Violent, combines archival imagery with animation to examine how pictures tell stories and whether they can be mined for truth.
Chloe Galibert-Laine’s latest video essay, I Would Like to Rage, reflects on the place of rage online and through this lens explores the blurred lines between authenticity and performativity
Mass wig exportation becomes the lens through which the fascinating, spectral doc An Asian Ghost Story explores Hong Kong’s late 20th-century modernisation and position between East and West.
One of the traditional fables of Sang Kancil, the wily mouse-deer, is brought exquisitely to life in Zhang Xu Zhan’s electrifying, otherworldly animation, Compound Eyes of Tropical