Close-Up Culture reveal our 30 best short films of 2020.
30. The Seeker – Lance Edmands
This fascinating documentary looks at an excommunicated Amish woodworker’s struggle with spirituality.
29. Mandem – John Ogunmuyiwa
Ogunmuyiwa’s story follows the adventures of two drug dealers in London. This impressive short challenges viewers to reflect on their own presumptions.
28. Escape From The Fragile Planet – Thanasis Tsimpinis
Tsimpinis’ charming tale follows two men as they find romance in the face of the apocalypse. Amazingly, this somewhat prophetic film was shot last year.
27. White Goldfish – Jan Roosens and Raf Roosens
This beautifully told short follows a young girl who stumbles on her mother’s intimate relationship with a mysterious woman.
26. Ride It Out – Ana Lily Amirpour
A cycle ride around Hollywood and Cate Blanchett’s narration make for thought-provoking lockdown viewing.
25. David – Zach Woods
A therapist’s dysfunctional personal life intrudes on his work life in this amusing short film.
24. Melatonin – Nikos Pastras
This sensual film features engrossing cinematography and two brilliantly physical performances.
23. Crickets – Kristen Stewart
Stewart directs and stars in this absorbing short about insomnia.
22. The Lamb Of God – David Pinheiro Vicente
21. Timo’s Winter – Giulio Mastromauro
An empty fairground is the interesting backdrop for this short film’s touching exploration of grief.
20. History Of Civilization – Zhannat Alshanova
Alshanova’s thoughtful short tells the story of a woman preparing to leave her life behind for a new start in London.
19. Gramercy – Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood
A poetic and well-crafted short looking at grief and mental health.
18. Marlon Brando – Vincent Tilanus
Marlon Brando tenderly captures the moment two close friends begin to drift apart.
17. For Your Consideration – Poppy Gordon
Gordon’s daring satire probes at ‘wokeness’ and those entitled enough to manipulate it. A razor-sharp script and wildly entertaining performances make this a must-watch.
16. Stephanie – Leonardo van Dijl
Van Dijl’s short glimpses at the trials of a young gymnast as she contends with injuries and pressure.
15. Two Single Beds – William Stefan Smith
A fascinating portrait of two troubled stand-up comedians.
14. Blue Fear – Lola Halifa-Legrand and Marie Jacotey
Love, passion and anxiety are explored in this dazzling animation.
13. Morning Song – Bijan Sheibani
Sheibani’s memorable short portrays the intense experience of a woman suffering from postpartum psychosis.
12. Turned – Anders Walter
Walter’s tale of a perturbed racing car driver packs the drama and excitement of a blockbuster feature into a short.
11. Cake Day – Phillip Thomas
Thomas’ tense short film about an addict leaves a profound mark.
10. Good Thanks, You? – Molly Manning Walker
9. Bittu – Karishma Dube
Dube’s short follows two mischievous schoolgirls in a story that builds brilliantly to its harrowing climax.
8. Dustin – Naila Guiguet
The complex relationships within a group of friends are laid bare in Guiguet’s short film. It makes for fascinating and insightful viewing.
7. Little Princess – Eric Forestier
A young woman’s sheltered reality is shattered in Little Princess. An unexpected emotional beat including the woman’s father demonstrates what a thoughtful story this is.
6. I Am Afraid To Forget Your Face – Sameh Alaa
Alaa’s devastating story follows a young man in his pursuit to reunite with a loved one. A masterful piece of storytelling.
5. O Black Hole! – Renee Zhan
Animation at its immersive and fantastical best. We can only hope to see more art like this on the big-screen.
4. The Game – Roman Hodel
Hodel’s engrossing documentary gives us an intimate look at the hectic job of a football referee on matchday.
3. Sudden Light – Sophie Littman
Littman’s atmospheric short is challenging and riveting. It features a tremendous central performance from Esme Creed-Miles.
2. Church And The Fourth Estate – Brian Knappenberger
Brian Knappenberger’s documentary shines a light on widespread sexual abuse within the Idaho Boy Scouts. This harrowing story deserves the biggest possible audience.
1. Bella – Thelyia Petraki
Based on real letters, Bella is an honest account of a woman’s life in 1980s Greece. Magnificent storytelling and an unforgettable central performance from Elena Topalidou.