The 20 Best Short Films Of The Decade
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
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
# 18— The Chair
Director: Grainger David
How To Watch: Now available on Vimeo.
#17 — DetainmentDirector: Vincent Lambe Year: 2018 How To Watch: Now available on Kanopy.
#16 — III
Director: Marta Pajek
How To Watch: Now available on Kanopy.
#13 — Caroline/Lockdown
Directors: Logan George & Celine Held
#12 — Cablestreet/Irregulars
Director: Meredith Lackey/Fabio Palmieri
#11 — Out of Earth/And We Stood Still
Director: Ilana Coleman
#10 — Noah
Director: Patrick Cederberg & Walter Woodman
#9 — Love
Director: Reka Busci
#8 — Whiplash
Director: Damien Chazelle
#7 — A Gentle Night
Director: Qiu Yang
How To Watch: Available to purchase on Vimeo.
#6 — Fauve
Director: Jeremy Comte
#5 — A Night At The Garden
Director: Marshall Curry
#4 — Acid Rain
Director: Tomek Popakul
#3 — In A Cane Field
Director: Emily Avila
How To Watch: Currently not available.
#1 — Thunder Road
Director: Jim Cummings