Let’s face it: Making short films is not hard. Which makes them a perfect playground for aspiring filmmakers.

While I encourage everyone to make short films, and to make mistakes, this sheer amount of films makes it hard to pick the really good ones from the pool of student films and test animations.

This list consists of some of my personal favourites. If you want to learn more about the art of making short films watching these is a good place to start.


by Jeff Le Bars

watch it on Vimeo.

Carn is what I consider the most impressive short film I have seen yet. It is not even the very unique animation style that makes it so great but the great story that reminds of an old fable.


by Keir Burrows

Watch it on Youtube.

I am usually not a fan of voice over narration, but this short film shows how to do it right. the images are a little bit abstract and the narration shows that the most important thing is actually what goes on in the narrator’s head.


by James Wan and Leigh Whannell

Watch it on Youtube.

This was more of a commercial stunt by the filmmakers to get money for a feature. But guess what, it worked! Most of you might have heard from of the Saw franchise and although the latest movies are a bit questionable, this is how it all started. Great idea, great film.

One Man’s Loss

by Philip Sansom

Watch it on Vimeo.

Phil Sansom is someone to look out for when it comes to short films. One man’s loss has a debatable story structure, but it works, because the film is so short and to the point. Also a very notable production design.

El Gran Zambini

by Igor Legarreta and Emilio Pérez

Watch it on Vimeo.

This film is about a father trying to impress his son. I have to admit I almost cried. Very poetic. It also shows how far you can go in short films without using dialogue.


by Mads Matthiesen

Watch it on Youtube.

I was skeptical about this one at first, maybe because I believe the theme is a bit overused. It it so well made however that you have to love it. It takes you exactly two shots to know all that you need to know about the character and his dramatic problem. Also for it’s length it gives you a lot of information.


by Tim Burton

Watch it on Vimeo.

One of Tim Burton’s classics. And another voice over narrated film. Here it works mostly because of the elaborate language that reminds of old E.A.Poe stories.


by Colin Levy

Watch it on Vimeo.

This film does not have the most original story and there are some things I don’t like, but it does have a proper structure, is well made in keeps you in front of the screen.

The Black Hole

by Phil Samson and Oli Williams

Watch it on Vimeo.

The second Phil Sansom film on my list. Once again, it is so great because it focusses on the very basic ideas of storytelling.