Close-Up Culture reveal our 30 favourite short film performances of 2021.
30. Dennis Pinheiro – Neon Phantom
Pinheiro leads a talented cast in this musical short.
29. Sofia Elena Borsani – Über Wasser
Jela Hasler’s short follows Eli (Sofia Elena Borsani) as she tries to escape the narrowness and agitation of the city.
28. Steve Laplante – Like The Ones I Used To Know
Laplante gives a touching performance as a deflated man picking up his children from his former in-laws’ house at Christmas. A special mention also for young Lilou Roy-Lanouette.
27. Li Chao and Hu Jie – Girl With A Thermal Gun
Li Chao and Hu Jie are delightful in this musical short.
26. Antonija Belazelkoska – North Pole
Belazelkoska plays Margo, a teenager who is struggling to find their place.
25. Motiejus Aškelovičius and Neringa Varnelyte – Techno, Mama
Aškelovičius and Varnelyte capture the tense relationship between a mother and her techno-loving son.
24. Deanna Gibson – Wiggle Room
Gibson is fantastic as a young woman who confronts the shady insurance agent who owes her money.
23. Jeanne Rosa – Descente (4 AM)
Rosa plays a policewoman who realises something is wrong with her colleagues’ late night raid.
22. Hussina Raja – Junior Messenger
Raja gives a moving performance as a young doctor delivering unfortunate phonecalls.
21. Aesha Balasem – Tala’vision
Balasem is fantastic as a young girl who finds freedom in a forbidden TV.
20. Will Patton – Safe
Patton’s character must reckon with his parental failures when his unruly son gets in trouble once again.
19. Rose Byrne – Shark
Byrne is brilliant in Nash Edgerton’s entertaining short.
18. Damien Bonnard – Censor Of Dreams
Bonnard portrays the Censor, who is in charge of constructing an emotionally-suppressed woman’s dreams.
17. Yasser Osmani – The Right Words
Young Osamni captures all the stresses of youth in this amusing short.
16. Sheri Hagen and Melodie Wakivuamina – I Am
Jerry Hoffman’s riveting sci-fi short features two excellent lead performances.
15. Safa Tarifi – Are You Still There?
Tarifi captures the frustrations of someone stranded alone in a parking lot.
14. Sandra Guldberg Kampp – In The Soil
Kampp plays a young woman who becomes increasingly disturbed by her dad’s digging.
13. Badu Morais – August Sky
Morais plays a nurse in Sao Paulo who finds herself drawn to a neo-Pentecostal church.
12. Dina Musanovic – Branka
Musanovic’s character uncovers an unsettling truth in K. Kovacs Akos’ short.
11. Terry Hu – Americanized
Hu plays a young woman who struggles to find a sense of belonging within the two worlds that don’t accept her.
10. Caitlin Taylor – Lucid
Taylor is a captivating force in Deanna Milligan’s quirky short.
9. Himesh Patel – Enjoy
Patel plays a man trying to halt his spiralling depression in Saul Abraham’s short.
8. Sandra Guldberg Kampp – Inherent
Kampp’s intriguing performance leads Nicolai G.H. Johansen’s mysterious short.
7. Julie Zhan – Post Office
Zhan gives a thoughtful lead performance alongside two wonderful child actors.
6. Jonathan Ajayi – Play It Safe
Ajayi gives an unforgettable performance in Play It Safe.
5. Karine Gonthier-Hyndman – Frimas
Gonthier-Hyndman is tremendous as a woman who is forced to go to great lengths to get an abortion. The short also features a great performance from Chantal Baril.
4. Babou Cham – Baltasar
Cham plays a Senegalese worker who meets resistance as he tries to make a living in Barcelona.
3. Nadir Saribacak – Leylak
Sariback and young Isabella Haddock are tremendous in this heart-wrenching short.
2. Eliska Krenkova – The Last Day Of Patriarchy
Olmo Omerzu’s striking film sees Krenkova shine as a woman put in an uncomfortable position when visiting her partner’s grandfather.
1. Annie Hamilton – Sealed With A Kiss
Hamilton’s terrific performance leads Luka Wilson’s short about loss.