Films / Programs

Shorts in a Feature-Length World

What features elucidate, they encapsulate. What features spell out, they abbreviate. What features diffuse, they concentrate. Frame for frame, shorts present a whole new way of looking at the world—and at film itself. Catch them in any of our themed packages or before a feature.

  • 48 Heads Out of the Museum Merkurov

    48 Heads Out of the Museum Merkurov

    Austria , 2012 , 4 min. Working intensively with death masks made by the Soviet sculptor Sergey Merkurov (1881-1952), a student of Auguste Rodin, filmmaker Anna Artaker translates them into various medial forms... more
  • Alaska Is a Drag

    Alaska Is a Drag

    USA , 2013 , 14 min. Leo doesn’t fit in at his job at the fish cannery but lives for the day when he can escape and be himself—in all the ways that are important to him... more
  • alive, feeling like a buck seventy-five

    alive, feeling like a buck seventy-five

    USA , 2013 , 7 min. “I was somebody … then she broke my heart.” With this opening narration, we are taken on the funny, heartfelt, painful ride that is writer/director/star Michael Neithardt’s romance with the one and only Amanda... more
  • Altair


    USA , 1995 , 8 min. “Altair offers a cutout-animation version of color film noir. The images were culled from six late-’40s issues of Cosmopolitan magazine and set to an almost four-minute segment of Stravinsky’s Firebird (looped twice) to create a sinister, perfumed world.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • AMOK


    Germany , 2013 , 14 min. In reaction to a school shooting, a teacher withdraws into the quiet of his own apartment. What happens to his solitude when the mother of one of the victims demands to talk?... more
  • Animation Hotline, 2013

    Animation Hotline, 2013

    USA , 2011 , 6 min. This year’s edition of the hotline offers a hugely entertaining combination of micro-animations set against a soundtrack of crowdsourced voicemail messages... more
  • Aurora Borealis, Northern Norway

    Aurora Borealis, Northern Norway

    Norway , 2013 , 3 min. Shot in the Arctic Circle in Norway earlier this year, using extremely sensitive lenses, innovative filmmaker/composer Philip Clemo’s film captures the subtleties and fine details of this famed natural phenomenon... more
  • The Beauty

    The Beauty

    USA , 2012 , 7 min. This particular cold early morning requires a farmer to tackle a very different chore in this hauntingly atmospheric, mysterious tale... more
  • Breathing In

    Breathing In

    USA , 2012 , 5 min. Combining remarkable sound design with lovely hand-drawn paintings, this short explores the myths, religious iconography, and pagan symbolism of giving birth... more
  • Camp Story

    Camp Story

    USA , 2013 , 27 min. Animator/storyteller David B. Levy (SDFF 2011 and 2012) created a perceptive remembrance of his father’s experience as a poor NYC boy who discovers a whole new world—and a bit about himself—when he volunteers to work at a Catskills summer camp... more
  • The Cold Side of the Pillow

    The Cold Side of the Pillow

    Spain , 2013 , 12 min. A charming film posing the inevitable question of just how vulnerable one is willing to be when a couple spends their first night together... more
  • Daylight Moon

    Daylight Moon

    USA , 2002 , 13 min. “Of all the films I’ve made using collage … this one gets the closest to what I’m after,” says Lewis Klahr of his film, which Wexner Center for the Arts film curator Chris Stults called “one of the most exhilarating explorations of light, shadow, color, rhythm, and melancholy in recent cinema.”... more
  • December 25

    December 25

    Australia , 2012 , 1 min. Perhaps the simplest, yet most potent, 60 seconds of cinematic storytelling you’ll see this year... more
  • Elsa Kirk

    Elsa Kirk

    USA , 1999 , 5 min. Lewis Klahr’s “hieroglyphic montage” trilogy began with photo contact sheets of three actress/models the filmmaker found in a New York thrift store. One was named and dated—Elsa Kirk, Feb 22 ’63. “I found myself intrigued by the strong sense of fiction and document in these photos,” says Klahr... more
  • The End of Pinky

    The End of Pinky

    Canada , 2013 , 8 min. Gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations, a warm palette, and mysterious voice-over create an animated noir story about murder and revenge in the lives of those on the fragile edges of society... more
  • Engram Sepals

    Engram Sepals

    USA , 2000 , 6 min. “A Buddhist noir—the dead body remembers.”—Lewis Klahr... more


    Spain , 2012 , 14 min. Echoes of a lifetime in a father-daughter relationship—with equal measures of affection and exasperation—are obvious when the two get together for coffee in a public square in Madrid... more
  • Exterior Extended

    Exterior Extended

    Austria , 2013 , 9 min. Siegfried A. Fruhauf´s Exterior Extended exemplifies an artistic strategy whereby a maximum effect is achieved through the combination of a minimum of individual elements. A 35mm film with 36 photos provides starting material for a stringent study on the theme of spatial perception in film... more
  • Facing Fear

    Facing Fear

    USA , 2013 , 23 min. This is the extraordinary real-life story of a gay street kid who is left for dead after an attack by a group of neo-Nazi youth. Decades later he crosses paths with one of the thugs, which leads them both on a difficult road to reconciliation, collaboration, forgiveness…and even friendship... more
  • FLO


    USA , 2012 , 10 min. Her diminished vision, lung cancer and MS don’t slow down the creative life of Flo Fox, a determined NYC photographer and “sassy downtown art star.”... more
  • Fluffy the Flying Fish

    Fluffy the Flying Fish

    USA , 2013 , 2 min. The unbelievable true story of how a Los Angeles family got their pet goldfish, Fluffy, to Denver... more
  • Four Seconds to Midnight

    Four Seconds to Midnight

    Iceland , 2013 , 3 min. Shot in Iceland and the United Kingdom, this extraordinary film explores the concept that if the Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history was represented in 24 hours, the human experience would account for approximately 4 seconds... more
  • A Girl Named Elastika

    A Girl Named Elastika

    Canada , 2012 , 4 min. A spirited stop-motion look at the life of a little girl made of rubber bands... more
  • Gloria Victoria

    Gloria Victoria

    Canada , 2013 , 7 min. The music of Shostakovich provides the backdrop for this stunningly powerful animated look of the horror of war... more
  • Her Fragrant Emulsion

    Her Fragrant Emulsion

    USA , 1987 , 11 min. “An obsessional homage to the ’60s B-film actress Mimsy Farmer. The film’s visceral collage images act as a metaphor for sensuality and move in and out of sync with the soundtrack to evoke the distancing and intimacy cycles that are common in love relationships.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • History of Virginity

    History of Virginity

    Switzerland , 2012 , 6 min. Losing one’s virginity—is it a gift, a barrier, a reward or a taboo? The development of the whole concept is traced in this extremely witty and surprisingly educational film... more
  • Hollow Land

    Hollow Land

    Canada , 2013 , 14 min. Using clay puppets, cutouts and breathtakingly beautiful drawings, the film tells the tale of devoted married couple Berta and Solomon, always in the company of their trusty bathtub, struggling to find a place to call home... more
  • I Love You

    I Love You

    USA , 2013 , 7 min. Without a word of dialogue, this is a moving account of a young woman who creates just the right way to relive 102 important moments in her life... more
  • Impromptu


    Canada , 2013 , 10 min. We’re not sure what is more fun—the playful lines and colors of the drawings or the sound design in this delightful re-creation of a man preparing a dinner for just his family that grows into a party for family, friends, and even a stranger or two... more
  • In Confidence

    In Confidence

    USA , 2013 , 10 min. Based on a short play, In Confidence gives Molly the opportunity to tell how she made a fateful decision so many years ago, a choice that she both accepts and regrets in equal measure... more
  • Juaritos


    USA , 2013 , 12 min. Ivan is living a risky life by fighting the violence of his hometown of Juarez through his blogs and postings, but it takes a whole different kind of courage when he ventures onto the streets... more
  • The Kalasha and the Crescent

    The Kalasha and the Crescent

    Pakistan , 2013 , 13 min. Award-winning activist/filmmaker Iara Lee (SDFF 2010 and 2011) presents an intimate look at the Kalash, a small, fiercely independent people of northern Pakistan who are struggling to keep their religion and cultural identity alive... more
  • Lady with Flower-Hair

    Lady with Flower-Hair

    Iran , 2012 , 11 min. It is not easy having flowers growing out of one’s head in this captivating animated tale of a woman with this exact problem... more
  • Light Mind

    Light Mind

    USA , 2013 , 10 min. Believe it or not, this short documentary is about a blind photographer and artist, a man who has learned to “paint using light.” ... more
  • Little Lies

    Little Lies

    Australia , 2012 , 15 min. Phillip is grieving the death of his long-term partner and looks for distraction by hiring a young man for an evening of companionship. This diversion is not what either of them expects... more
  • Love doesn't care

    Love doesn't care

    Sweden , 2013 , 15 min. Rakel and Dag are in love and are seemingly the perfect couple until an old friend of Dag’s shows up and things take a subtle yet dramatic turn... more
  • LV-225


    Italy , 2012 , 7 min. In the not-so-distant future the daily life in a horribly polluted city is shown in contrast to the reading of a love letter... more
  • Marcel, King of Tervuren

    Marcel, King of Tervuren

    USA , 2012 , 6 min. Inspired by Europe’s bird-flu epidemic, this colorful saga salutes the resourceful rooster who evades the authorities and lives to crow another day... more
  • A Messenger from the Shadows

    A Messenger from the Shadows

    Austria , 2013 , 60 min. A one-person piece for the “man with a thousand faces.” Silent-horror-film icon Lon Chaney was the son of deaf-mute parents, and thus perfected pantomime as a child. He rose to fame as a master of disguise with a penchant for grotesque appearances and torturous contortions... more
  • The Naked Leading the Blind

    The Naked Leading the Blind

    Belgium , 2013 , 16 min. A sophisticated tale of the delicate balance of a married couple that is disrupted by a visit from her former boss... more
  • Oh Willy...

    Oh Willy...

    Belgium , 2011 , 17 min. This wildly successful animated treat has everything: a world covered with fuzzy wool, a tender story with just a touch of surrealistic fantasy, a nudist-colony setting, and, at its center, the middle-aged “hero,” Willy... more
  • On the Nature of Hotness

    On the Nature of Hotness

    USA , 2013 , 9 min. In just ten minutes of cinematic fun, the viewer will gain a greater understanding of the who-what-how of “hot” and why love and attraction don’t always go together... more
  • Ouverture


    USA , 2013 , 5 min. Simple line drawings, first-rate piano music by J.S. Bach, and the tale of a little girl whose life—literally—is so full of music that she has cascading musical notes pouring out of her heart... more
  • Overpass Light Brigade

    Overpass Light Brigade

    USA , 2013 , 6 min. This documentary effectively captures the striking visuals of the public installations created by Wisconsin’s “Holders of Lights,” a creative group of activists who are part luminary performance art and part political protest... more
  • Parasit


    Austria , 2013 , 8 min. In Nikki Schuster´s stop-motion-animation Parasit, organic and non-organic, documentary and animation engage in luminous mutations. Billy Roisz’s experimental, smoldering soundtrack accompanies the unfolding of bizarre microcosms in the depths of trees and crevices... more
  • Pencil


    Iran , 2013 , 4 min. It’s the first day of school and all a boy needs is to find his very own pencil... more
  • The Photo Man

    The Photo Man

    USA , 2013 , 7 min. Mark Kologi has a nontraditional business of buying and selling found photographs. With a track record of more than three million photos sold, he is able to discern stories in both the discarded photos and the buyers... more
  • Pony Glass

    Pony Glass

    USA , 1997 , 15 min. “The story of comic-book character Jimmy Olsen’s secret life. In this 15-minute cutout animation, Superman’s pal embarks on his most adult adventure ever as he navigates the treacherous shoals of early-’60s romance, trying to resolve a sexual identity crisis of epic proportions.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • Praxis 12

    Praxis 12

    Austria , 2012 , 21 min. Almost all the images that make up Praxis 12 emerge from impenetrable blackness. But some mysterious events are taking place in the pitch-black space they come from... more
  • Put a Lid on It

    Put a Lid on It

    USA , 2013 , 3 min. A hip, back-alley cat makes the “scene,” complete with an infectious jazz score, libations, dogs, and even a few ants... more
  • The Rain Couplets

    The Rain Couplets

    USA , 2012 , 14 min. “Kiss the Rain and The Street of Everlasting Rain are part of The Rain Couplets, a new subset of my ongoing Prolix Satori project. Like my other Couplets, they grapple with romantic love, time, and the nuances of repetition.”—Lewis Klahr... more
  • Rear mirror

    Rear mirror

    Spain , 2013 , 6 min. Following an unexpected accident, Lucía finds a renewed appreciation of what she had with Alvaro... more
  • Reconnaissance


    Austria , 2012 , 5 min. “Reconnaissance” generally means an inspection or exploration—that which in the military field can be categorized as “intelligence.” Such connotations also inevitably arise with Johann Lurf´s Reconnaissance; after all, the film is laid out as an intensely perceptive exploration of an area... more


    USA , 2013 , 3 min. A psychological portrait of Taylor Beattie transitioning from "male" to "female", as he stands outside of a women's restroom... more
  • Soup of the Day

    Soup of the Day

    Canada , 2013 , 4 min. Award-winning animator Lynn Smith brings her colorful paintings to life in this comic story of the culinary conflict between a husband and wife... more
  • Thank God

    Thank God

    Iran , 2012 , 4 min. A clever, unassuming visual narration of the life cycle of shoes... more
  • tricolor


    Austria , 2011 , 8 min. In an established technique for avant-garde film, analogue stock is worked on directly, touched, and attacked. In tricolor the filmstrip is worked over in this fashion: first, tinted frame by frame with a special paint for use on glass, then scratched, carved, and artistically slit... more
  • Twenty Eight Feet: Life on a little wooden boat

    Twenty Eight Feet: Life on a little wooden boat

    Canada , 2013 , 9 min. A courageous man with a singular point of view, David Welsford is a young Nova Scotian who has given up everything to live and sail full time on an old wooden sailboat... more
  • Two Hours to Zero

    Two Hours to Zero

    USA , 2004 , 9 min. “Two Hours to Zero is an ecstatic nine-minute Ben Day ballet accompanied by Rhys Chatham’s monumental Guitar Trio. Pure Pop for Noir people.”—Chris Stults, Film Comment... more
  • Until the Quiet Comes

    Until the Quiet Comes

    USA , 2013 , 4 min. With a touch of magic realism and a soundtrack by inventive musician Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes offers an unexpected look at the violence and hope that coexist in Nickerson Gardens, the notorious public housing project in Los Angeles... more
  • Virtuoso Virtual

    Virtuoso Virtual

    Germany , 2013 , 8 min. Using abstract ink drawings, dots, and drips set to the music of 19th-century German composer Louis Spohr, this award-winning filmmaking team answers the question, “What does music look like?”... more
  • Vital Voices: Hawa Abdi

    Vital Voices: Hawa Abdi

    USA , 2013 , 4 min. A delightful animated documentary about the life of Somalia’s first female gynecologist... more
  • Walking Blues

    Walking Blues

    Denmark , 2012 , 15 min. Rich, colorful paintings and the lure of the blues bring to life the journey of a Malian singer who risks everything to escape to Europe in order to find a better life for himself and his music... more
  • Water from Grain

    Water from Grain

    Austria , 2013 , 13 min. The poetry of Water from Grain grows out of an apparent contradiction stemming from its seeming timelessness while it plays out on the clearly recognizable outskirts of Vienna in the years 2011 and 2012... more
  • We Were Awesome

    We Were Awesome

    USA , 2013 , 8 min. In the chill of the wee hours of the morning, two longtime friends climb a hill in their old neighborhood to reminisce, watch the sun rise, and perhaps even realize a thing or two about themselves... more
  • We've All Been There

    We've All Been There

    Australia , 2013 , 7 min. A stranded driver’s life intersects with that of a struggling, stressed-out young waitress... more
  • What Do We Have in Our Pockets?

    What Do We Have in Our Pockets?

    USA , 2012 , 4 min. Using both animation and live action, this might be the most romantic film of the year, especially if you like your romance on the quirky side... more
  • Where Is My Home?

    Where Is My Home?

    USA , 2013 , 9 min. Award-winning animated telling of Vera Gissing’s escape from Czechoslovakia in the early years of WWII... more
  • Wide-eyed


    United Kingdom , 2013 , 4 min. It’s all about light—both day and night—in acclaimed filmmaker/composer Philip Clemo’s cinematic poem... more
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