Spending some time watching YouTube recently, I found myself tunneling down several rabbit holes to discover a true treasure trove of short films. These “shorties” mostly run about 10-15 minutes. Some are as short as 3 minutes while others run up to 20 minutes or longer. So, neither TikTok brief nor feature-length films, just quick cinematic bites, all narrative stories.
Some are animations, some are live action. Some are drama, some are comedy. Some are Westerns, some are sci-fi, some are romances. Some are award winners and some are, well, not so great, but often interesting nonetheless.
Thought I’d share a small sampling of my discoveries to whet your appetite.
“Love at First Sight”
Sir John Hurt’s name drew my attention — few shorties feature stars. The late-life love story sucked me in after that.
This sweet tale of timeless love won multiple awards and was considered for an Oscar. It’s one of just over a dozen short films from the NITVShorts (Network Ireland Television) YouTube channel. I hardly noticed the source at first but ended up watching most of their offerings — lovely films.
Also from NITVShorts: Ruby
2016 Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action
The gripping tale of a tortured young man stymied by his severe stuttering as he risks reaching out to someone new. I was hooked from the start with its quick, hard gut punch to the heart. No wonder it won the Oscar that year.
Another poignant piece on troubled communication: The Silent Child
Animated tale of road rage along Australia’s longest, straightest, treeless stretch of desert highway.
Found this one on the Omelto YouTube channel, which boasts “The World’s Best Short Films.” They offer 7 categories, from Drama to Comedy to Romance and more, hosting hundreds of movies from all over the world, a virtual cornucopia of short films.
Another animated shortie: The Matchbook
This beauty comes from the DUST channel, which features science fiction. I’ve only delved briefly into their catalogue, but given their 6 years-plus of YouTube programming, it’s safe to say there’s a bunch of good stuff over there.
Another sci-fi shortie: Earthy Encounters
Standard Western scene…with a twist
Okay, I just had to include this one. This was the first stop on my voyage of discovery among the shorties. It cracked me right up and still does. There are a lot of truly “standard” Western shorties out there but I do love me some cinematic twisting like this one offers.
A more “standard” Western shortie: The Weight
Thanks to YouTube’s recommendation engine, each short film you watch will list multiple additional shorties. These open a seemingly never ending stream of new shorties to explore.