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December 30, 2019

The 20 Best Short Films Of The Decade

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The 2010s have been the biggest, bold and most impactful on the short film medium in its entire history. By 2010 the digital revolution had settled in, allowing the best technology to get into young filmmakers’ hands faster than ever. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo were coming into their own and offering a place where someone’s small but impressive films could be seen on a global scale. With Netflix and the streaming revolution of the mid 2010s came a slew of streaming services (including ourselves), offering films for a specific audience (for us, lovers of award-winning shorts). The streaming wars are still being waged, but the ones who have always been benefiting are the short filmmakers themselves.

The last decade has also seen a major expansion in the money and resources that film festivals put into their short programming. Once seen as the throwaway portion of the event, shorts — whether it be virtual reality, episodic or music videos — have blossomed into becoming central pieces of major festivals around the world. Technological and artistic innovation often start in the short form, when the budget is smaller and the stakes are lower. This makes the form a prime way for festivals to push their own boundaries.

Of course, we couldn’t talk about this decade without mentioning the countless incredible short film only festivals that only grow with each passing year. From Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland Intl.) to Sydney, Australia (Flickerfest), there’s a place to see the world’s best short films in one place.

So with that generous spirit, we bring you Miniflix’s Top 20 Short Films Of The Decade. This isn’t an easy list to make, and we know that dozens, if not hundreds, of incredibly films are being left out. A few caveats:

  • No music videos, episodic series or avant-garde/installation works were chosen. We certainly consider many of them legitimate works of art and short films in their own right. However, for the sake of this list, we felt those categories would be better served in a separate ranking.
  • The films were chosen partly by personal preference but also by cultural impact — did this short help mobilize the industry in a new way, or inspire a new generation? We take the whole context into account, and our ranking is not to consider the quality of one over the other. 
  • We cheated and did a couple of split decisions. In each case, we thought they were a good thematic double feature and both deserved to be on the list.

In the end, all 20 of these are incredible films and you should definitely check them out as soon as you can! Now, let’s begin!

#20 — Music For Hospitals/My Home Is A Dog That Lives Inside of Me

Director: Irene Gil Ramon/Adam Briggs

Year: 2019/2018

Where To Watch: “My Home Is A God That Lives Inside Of Me” is now available on Miniflix.

#19 — The Birds Upstairs

Director: Christopher Jarvis

Year: 2011

# 18— The Chair

Director: Grainger David

Year: 2012

How To Watch: Now available on Vimeo.

 

#17 — Detainment

Director: Vincent Lambe

Year: 2018

How To Watch: Now available on Kanopy.

#16 — III

Director: Marta Pajek

Year: 2018

How To Watch: Now available on Kanopy.

#15 — Best/The Strange Thing About The Johnsons

Director: Will Oldroyd/Ari Aster

Year: 2014/2011

#14 — Aïssa

Director: Clément Trehin-Lalanne

Year: 2015

How To Watch: Watch now on Miniflix.

#13 — Caroline/Lockdown

Directors: Logan George & Celine Held

Year: 2018/2019

#12 — Cablestreet/Irregulars

Director: Meredith Lackey/Fabio Palmieri

Year: 2019/2015

Cablestreet

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#11 — Out of Earth/And We Stood Still

Director: Ilana Coleman

Year: 2012/2018

#10 — Noah

Director: Patrick Cederberg & Walter Woodman

Year: 2013

#9 — Love

Director: Reka Busci

Year: 2016

#8 — Whiplash

Director: Damien Chazelle

Year: 2012

#7 — A Gentle Night

Director: Qiu Yang

Year: 2017

How To Watch: Available to purchase on Vimeo.

#6 — Fauve

Director: Jeremy Comte

Year: 2018

#5 — A Night At The Garden

Director: Marshall Curry

Year: 2018

#4 — Acid Rain

Director: Tomek Popakul

Year: 2019

#3 — In A Cane Field

Director: Emily Avila

Year: 2016

How To Watch: Currently not available.

#2 — The Phone Call

Director: Mat Kirkby

Year: 2015

How To Watch: Now available on Miniflix.

#1 — Thunder Road

Director: Jim Cummings

Year: 2016

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