Top 8 Must-See International Short Films

A short film is any motion picture not long enough in running time to be declared as a full feature film. It is a short film that has a running time of 40 minutes or less.

Here is a list of some of the short films in the world that we think are worth noticing. Some are short film documentaries that shed light on important issues that the world is facing right now and contain original concepts and ideas.

1.The Mushroom Club

The Mushroom Club is an Academy Award-nominated film by director Steve Okazaki. The short film talks about the story of the first use of the atomic bomb by the United States against Japan. It is 34 minutes of storytelling of the real story and life of the people who have experienced it. It is described in detail the stories of survivors through the rich yet tragic form of an anthology.

“Filmmaker Okazaki returns to the city where the first atomic bomb was dropped to survey a society where memories of the devastating event are fading. Amidst the solemn official commemorations and the people who’d just as soon ignore the bomb and its aftermath, he finds a dwindling community of survivors and others who seek to keep the story alive and vivid.”

THE MUSHROOM CLUB is a filmmaker’s journey to Hiroshima, sixty years after the bomb. Filmmaker Steven Okazaki, who first visited the city in 1980, takes a very personal look at Hiroshima — the place, the people, the historical event, the idea. He gathers a compelling collection of everyday images — a class photo, a spool of thread, a handful of buttons — and the powerful stories that come with them.

2. Knife Skills

This Oscar-nominated short film was released in 2017, it was able to deliver a message of redemption and hope. The story revolves around a restaurateur looking to open the best French restaurant in America. The twist of the story is that the staff who will be serving the food are ex-convicts.

3. Mindenki

Mindeki or Sing is a childhood dram set in the 1990s Budapest, Hungary. It is inspired by a true story, depicting an award-winning school choir and a new girl in class who will uncover the ugly secret behind the choir’s fame. It was directed by Kristof Deak and co-written by Bex Harvey.

4. “One Cambodian Family Please for My Pleasure”

This short film was directed by A.M Lukas, and the lead actress Emily Mortimer gave an impressive performance as a Czech refugee living in Fargo, Dakota in this 14-minute comedy written by A.M Lukas. It was selected as one of the best short films at the Sundance film festival in 2019.

5. Tombstone Pillow

Tombstone Pillow is a 12-minute film, set in a cemetery in the Philippines where 6,000 people are living. It tells the story of a heartless heiress, who was forced to run with a poor graveyard girl who teaches her life’s real riches.

The slums in Manila are so overcrowded and in such bad condition that 6,000 people decided rather than live in the slums they will live among the dead. The cemetery dwellers sleep, eat, go to school and perform all of the other functions of living in and around tombs – they literally use tombstones for pillows.

Tombstone Pillow has already received several nominations including Best Short Film, Best Actress for Lourdes Duque Baron and Best Director at the NYCIFF Foundation with Festival Director Roberto Rizzo. Tombstone Pillow already won the Best Short Film Category at the ARFF Amsterdam Around International Film Festival in July 2019. It was also nominated as Best Filipino Short Film and Best Cinematography by the Asian Cinematography Awards

Produced by: Timeless Entertainment Inc.

Directed by Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir
Starring: Lourdes Duque Baron, Kendra Sison De Mesa, Blake Salcedo, Ian Taylor Ignacio, Akram Yesmine and Cedric Escobar
Screenplay by: Fraser Kee Scott
Director of Photography: Mycko David
Editor: Bella Jones
Music: Hagay Mizrahi
Production Design: Marielle Hizon

Produced by Timeless Entertainment Inc.

6. Sometimes I think About Dying

The film was directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz, and it is 13-minutes long. It is the story of a woman named Katy Wright-Mead whose dark thoughts are interrupted by the unexpected attention given to her by a co-worker named Jim Sarbh. The short film is described by critics as dark, funny and intimate and contains the perfect elements of storytelling. It is also a crowd favorite at the Sundance festival.

7. Detainment

Detainment is a 2018 Irish short drama film written and directed by Vincent Lambe, about the murder of James Bulger. It was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

Detainment is considered as a controversial film and is already Oscar-nominated. It is a fact-based drama about 10-year-old boys who kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered a 2- year old child in 1993 Liverpool. The story shocked the United Kingdom and resulted in the conviction of the killers. The plot focused on the killer’s interrogations, as they began to realize the terrible and unforgivable crime they have made.

8. Black Sheep

Black Sheep is a film recounting the childhood of Cornelius Walker, the only black kid in the London suburb of Essex. This short film is a gripping, intense and has chilling re-enactments. It shows how in real life he was able to survive and strategize among violent and racist neighbors and classmates by trying his best to fit in as possible. His methods include bleaching his skin, wearing white fashion, using a contact lens to give himself blue eyes.

Black Sheep is produced and co-funded by Lightbox in collaboration with the Film Maker Fund, it is also Oscar-nominated.

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