Close-Up Culture pick our 30 favourite short films of 2021.
30. Round & Round – Talia Pasqua and Simeon Pratt
A group of seasoned roller derby players give a glimpse into life’s incurable tendency to define one’s individual identity through the pursuit of passion.
29. Enjoy – Saul Abraham
As Michael seeks novel ways to halt his spiralling depression, a moment of hope arrives via an unexpected source.
28. North Pole – Marija Apcevska
Margo belongs to neither the misty field nor the crowded locker room. Maybe if she loses her virginity, she will finally find her place.
27. From My Window – Frank Pickell
An ambitious young girl with cerebral palsy aims to journey up Colorado’s highest mountains.
26. Trumpets In The Sky – Rakan Mayasi
Boushra, one of the potato-picking girls, returns from a long day of work in the field only to learn that today her childhood will come to an end.
25. Safe – Ian Barling
On a winter night in Atlantic City, the manager of a defunct casino must reckon with his parental failures when his unruly son needs help out of an illicit bind.
24. Chicken Skin – Hadi Kouhbor
When guests abandon Maryam’s mother’s funeral reception due to power outages, she finds herself overwhelmed and discovers an overwhelming truth.
23. August Sky – Jasmin Tenucci
As the Amazon burns for the seventeenth day, a nurse in Sao Paulo finds herself drawn to a neo-Pentecostal church.
22. In The Soil – Casper Kjeldsen
Karoline’s life is turned upside down when her father starts digging a pit in their backyard.
21. Post Office – Courtney Loo & David Karp
When a Chinese-American mother and her children come upon a seemingly abandoned little girl, their attempts to help have unforeseen consequences.
20. Descente (4 AM) – Mehdi Fikri
After the Paris terror attacks, a policewoman helps colleagues to conduct a search, but soon finds out that things aren’t going as planned.
19. Takeover – Emma Francis-Snyder
In 1970, a group of young Puerto Rican activists took over a decrepit hospital in New York City, launching a battle for their lives, their community, and healthcare for all.
18. Brutalia, Days Of Labour – Manolis Mavris
Mavris’ film poses the question: What would happen if we replaced bees with humans?
17. Branka – K. Kovacs Akos
A worker becomes concerned when she notices newborn babies disappearing from a state hospital in Yugoslavia.
16. Baltasar – Brietta Hague
Hague’s short follows a Senegalese worker as he tries to make a living in Barcelona.
15. Displaced – Samir Karahoda
In post-war Kosovo, two local table tennis players wander from one obscure location to another.
14. Aguilas – Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre
This documentary follows a group of volunteers who try to recover the missing from the desert border in Arizona .
13. The Right Words – Adrian Moyse Dullin
Pressured by his older sister, Mahdi declares his love to his crush.
12. Noir-Soleil – Marie Larrive
A father and daughter embark on an emotional trip to Italy for a DNA test.
11. Lili Alone – Zou Jing
A young mother heads for the city to earn money for her dying father.
10. Hair Tie, Egg, Homework Books – Luo Runxiao
A model student in her elementary school, 11-year-old Lin Yuqi is assigned to give a speech about her family at parent’s evening.
9. You Can’t Automate Me – Katarina Jazbec
A look at the people who risk their lives every day at the port of Rotterdam.
8. The Visit – Morrie Tan
Tan’s animated short tells the story of a daughter’s trips to visit her father in prison.
7. Play It Safe – Mitch Kalisa
Coaxed into playing a racial typecast in a fellow student’s play, Jonathan is faced to either challenge prejudice, or play it safe.
6. Censor Of Dreams – Leo Berne and Raphaël Rodriguez
Night after night the Censor and his team mould Yoko’s memories into fantastical dreams.
5. In Flow Of Words – Eliane Esther Bots
A short about the experiences of three interpreters of the Yugoslavia Tribunal in The Hague.
4. The Last Day Of Patriarchy – Olmo Omerzu
Pregnant Nina faces an terrible decision when she visits the deathbed of her partner’s grandfather.
3. Naya – Sebastian Mulder
Mulder’s short follows Naya, the first wolf in Belgium in a hundred years.
2. Frimas – Marianne Farley
An anti-abortion law forces Kara into a desperate situation.
1. Leylak – Scott Aharoni and Dennis Latos
In New York, a gravedigger struggles to face a shattering truth.