Where To Watch Free Short Films While Under Quarantine
It’s the new reality. Most of us are hunkered down in our homes and doing our best to practice social distancing. While we are doing all this sitting in our homes, there’s a whole lot of streaming films going on. In fact, the traffic from streaming in Europe has gotten so congested that local officials and streaming services agreed to lower the quality for 30 days in order to lessen the strain on Internet Service Providers.
It’s certain more and more people will choose to stay home in the coming days and weeks, so expect streaming to continue to surge. Because of this, and because of the very uncertain times we’re in, streaming services from all the arts have been extending a hand by offering free content. So we thought we’d start a running list of free short films you can start streaming in your newfound free time!
We will be keeping this list updated for as long as quarantines remain in effect:
Aspen Film “Virtual Version of 29th Annual Shortsfest”
What: Just announced on March 23rd, the much-anticipated Aspen ShortsFest made a very innovative decision by making their upcoming festival entirely virtual! Between March 31st and April 5th, viewers will be able to snag virtual access codes for limited time screenings of world-renowned shorts. Check out the specs, prices and more in the link.
TRIBECA “A Short Film A Day Keeps The Anxiety Away”
What: Since Tribeca has been postponed, they decided to still release some movie magic with a short film a day from Tribeca alum. This will include several online premieres! A new film will be posted every day at 11 a.m., so be sure to keep up!
National Film Board of Canada (NFB) “Ultra-Short Films”
What: All coming in at under 3 minutes, the National Film Board of Canada has decided to open their prestigious vault (including the Academy Award nominated short “Animal Behaviour”) and let you watch their ultra-short shorts for free. There’s a great variety, ranging from more traditional animation to extremely experimental work.
Lockdown Cinema Club “Short Films For A Cause”
What: In order to support the Southeast Asian film production workers currently out of a job during a month-long quarantine, a film collective has put together a curated collection of shorts they really like (all currently available on Vimeo or YouTube). This three-volume series also hopes to raise awareness for the COVID-19 effort by asking for PPE donations.
Short Of The Week “8 SXSW Shorts You Can Watch Right Now”
What: We were all so sad to find out that SXSW had decided to cancel their annual festival for the first time ever. However, it’s been equally as gratifying to see the love and support coming from other filmmakers and film outlets during this time of crisis. Short of the Week did their best to promote SXSW premieres by giving us a list of the shorts that decided to go ahead with online premieres! Don’t wait – these are the must-see shorts of 2020 so far!
Covideo Film Maker Challenge
What: Co-founded by Nikki Born, director of the short film “Haunt”, this Instagram/Facebook group challenge is specifically for our quarantined times. Make a short film in 4 days, using only what you have in your home. You must also practice proper social distancing to make the film. They say that limitations create the greatest art, so here’s your chance! The first film (made by Nikki) is COVERT 19, which you can watch now!
Le Cinema Club
What: The site that puts up one new film a week (for free!) isn’t a new resource. But during these uncertain times, it may be more important than ever. You never quite know what you’re going to get from this very eclectic library. One week may be a new short film release, while the next might be an experimental feature. You just have to tune back in each Friday to find out.
40 Days To Learn Film
What: 40 Days!? Is that how long we’re all going to be stuck here!? While we don’t know just how long quarantines will be in effect, we can take our film knowledge one day at a time with a free course in filmic visual language. Taught by esteemed documentarian Mark Cousins, you only have to spend between 3-7 minutes learning about a new technique or topic about film.
What: Writer-Director Chell Stephen (director of “Crystal”) is back with a brand new short – just in time for our homebound movie marathons. Here’s the synopsis: Babygirl is gonna find out where Mom’s been sneaking off to in the night and have her eyes opened wide to the perils and powers of womanhood along the way. Get ready to expect the unexpected! Want to learn more about Chell? Check out our interview with her.
Mailchimp Presents SXSW 2020 Shorts
What: Thanks to a special partnership between Mailchimp and Oscilloscope, all of the SXSW 2020 short films that were supposed to premiere are now available online and in one place. There’s a lot to choose from here, but what unites them all is their independent spirit and quirky personality – both staples of SXSW films!
The New Parkway Theater’s Quarantine Film Festival
What: This one’s for San Francisco area residents only, but an exciting opportunity nonetheless! Win an annual pass to the New Parkway Theater by making a short under 3 minutes, between March 16th and April 7th and that follows all “shelter in place” orders. Enjoy!
Don’t forget that you can always start watching award-winning and festival-qualifying shorts right now with a 7-day free trial of Miniflix.TV!