Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge picks out his favourite 30 short films of 2018 (based on IMDb dates).
30) Fitting – Emily Avila
A tenderly told story about two strangers (played by Deborah Leiser-Moore and Clementine Anderson) who find support and strength in the intimate setting of a dressing room.
29) F*ck Bunny – Wesley Wingo
A dead squirrel leads one woman (Francesca Anderson) to rethink the way she connects with the people around her in this darkly comedic and surprisingly personal short.
28) Friends Of Wonder – Irene Chin and Kurt P. Vincent
Irene Chin and Kurt P. Vincent’s spellbinding documentary chronicles the history of Loew’s Jersey Theater as two laid back musicians (Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile) roll into town.
27) The Summer Of Electric Lion – Diego Cespedes
Based on a true story and striking a similar chord to Marialy Rivas’ Princesita, this thoughtful short shows youthful innocence on the verge of being cruelly snatched away by adult corruption.
26) Nosebleed – Luna Carmoon
Luna Carmoon’s stylish tale of toxic friendship harnesses the allure of two of Britain’s most talent young actors (Ruby Stokes and Lily Newmark).
25) Lasting Marks – Charlie Lyne
An absorbing piece of documentary filmmaking. Charlie Lyne’s short merges visuals of legal documents and media coverage with a narrator’s personal account to expose a distressing level of distortion.
24) My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes – Charlie Tyrell
A personal and profound unravelling of one family’s past told creatively with the use of personal items.
23) Magic Bullet – Amanda Lovejoy Street
Amanda Lovejoy Street’s beautifully shot short about our response to loss features compelling performances from Molly Parker and Rosemarie DeWitt.
22) Lost & Found – Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe
An irresistibly endearing tale of woolly love and sacrifice. Pixar would be proud – and lucky – to have Lost & Found as part of their collection.
21) Holy Moses – Eli Powers
Amanda Seyfried stars as an Irish nun in Eli Powers’ enchanting tale about miracles.
20) Cross My Heart – Sontenish Myers
Aided by two talented young actors (Jordan-Amanda Hall and Jhada Ann Walker), filmmaker Sontenish Myers insightfully explores the culture of silence among women.
19) Ostrom – István Kovács
Set during the Siege of Sarajevo, István Kovács’ short shows the bleakness of war and one woman’s (Vedrana Bozinovic) enduring strength to preserve.
18) On The Border – Shujun Wei
Shujun Wei’s quietly contemplative drama follows a young man (Zhengming Li) on the border between China and Korea as he seeks meaningful direction in his life.
17) Dziadzio – Aaron Ries
A magnetic performance from Sydney Herauf leads this darkly intriguing story of suburban angst and retreat into fantasy.
16) Black Sheep – Ed Perkins
Ed Perkins’ astonishing documentary reveals the peculiar and unsettling direction one young man’s life took under the piercing strains of racism.
15) Ce Magnifique Gâteau! – Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels
Sardonic humour flavours an animated anthology that bemoans the heedlessly destructive impact of European colonialism in Africa.
14) Brotherhood – Meryam Joobeur
Suspicion threatens to tear a family apart in Meryam Joobeur’s devastating film about a son returning home with a mysterious new wife.
13) Excuse Me, I Am Looking For The Ping-Pong Room And My Girlfriend – Bernhard Wenger
In Bernhard Wenger’s cleverly layered short film, a spa hotel becomes a fascinating and revealing setting for this story about a directionless young man (Rasmus Luthander).
12) Don’t Be A Hero – Pete Lee
Missi Pyle delivers an outstanding performance as an unlikely bank robber who still cannot escape the apathy and loneliness of her day-to-day life.
11) Hector Malot: The Last Day of the Year – Jacqueline Lentzou
Similar to Luthander in Excuse Me…, Sofia Kokkali gives a brilliantly restrained performance in this delicate portrait of a young woman still finding her voice and place in life.
10) Krista – Danny Madden
A cleverly unfolding narrative and Shirley Chen’s affecting performance help capture the scarring impact of street harassment.
9) Souls Of Totality – Richard Raymond
Richard Raymond and his team pull off an ambitious 5-minute single-take for the most awe-inspiring finale scene in cinema this year.
8) Detainment – Vincent Lambe
Remarkable performances from Ely Solan and Leon Hughes bring a chillingly real edge to this film about James Bulger’s murder in 1993.
7) Pauline Enslaved – Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet
Clever dialogue, lively pacing and relatable performances make Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s short about modern love a marvellous watch.
6) Bats – Michelle Savill
Michelle Savill stylishly taps into nightlife culture by beautifully depicting the messy confusion of youth.
5) Fence – Lendita Zeqiraj
Lendita Zeqiraj’s masterfully constructed short film is the Birdman of dysfunctional family gatherings. A film of dazzling execution and sharp observations.
4) Skin – Guy Nattiv
Guy Nattiv leaves us speechless with his staggering tale underlining the cyclical and self-destructive nature of racism.
3) Caroline – Celine Held and Logan George
Leaving a similar imprint to Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, this heart-breaking and pressingly important short film depicts the type of desperate dilemmas facing low-income families in America.
2) All These Creatures – Charles Williams
An ethereal and profoundly poetic cinematic experience, All These Creatures is a mesmerising take on memories and mental health.
1) Fauve – Jérémy Comte
Jérémy Comte’s shatteringly poignant short film displays the fragility youth and the unforgiving cruelness of life.