If you follow Blueprint on social media, you’ll know that we like to highlight the short films that left an impression on us. #AmazingFilm is our way of showcasing some of the best short films the internet has to offer – from animations to narrative and documentary shorts. With another year down, we’ve compiled our favourite short films from 2020 into one handy list. We believe it’s always worthwhile to check out and support the work of other creatives – and 2020 made this more important than ever. So sit back, get inspired and soak in some stunning creative content!
Our first pick for best short films from 2020 packs a lot of fire in under two minutes. Darcy Prendergast’s brilliant short, ‘Tomorrow’s on Fire,’ brings a rallying spoken word poem to life through striking animated visuals.
Often the most memorable shorts are ones which use the medium to react to pressing issues and problems in engaging ways. Prendergast created the film in direct response to the horrific bush fires that ravaged Australia earlier this year. It’s a powerful and hauntingly beautiful piece that you shouldn’t miss.
Lydia Rui’s beautifully crafted short is a testament to the power of subtle and restrained storytelling. It’s a deceptively simple concept: the main character stops by a music shop and meets its owner, an older man. But with expert pacing, the story peels back its layers and gives you new details at just the right time.
Rui’s direction feels intimate and personal, which is added to by the tight frames and focus on facial expressions. This is one to watch if you’re in the mood for a slightly more contemplative piece, or if you just want to witness some great cinematography!
We challenge you to not immediately fall in love with this brilliantly tongue-in-cheek biking short. ‘The Legend of Tommy G’ tells the story of a skilled mountain biker through a series of dramatic secondhand accounts. Anthill Films expertly intercuts this with cinematic action shots (including excellent use of slow-mo) and a handful of fun visual gags.
The slick and playful short mixes absurd humour with stunning sports cinematography, providing a genuinely refreshing take on the genre. Trust us: you haven’t seen a sports short like this.
This film differs from our other picks in confronting the very aspects of 2020 that made us want to find distraction in art. But it’s ability to capture the feeling of last summer makes ‘May Gray, June Gloom’ an essential watch.
This powerful mood piece provides us with moving moments of juxtaposition: an artist painting as members of the military hover in the background; a woman sitting alone facing a police line; smoke from teargas becomes smoke from wildfires. Horatio Baltz’s focus on humanity and loss is made all the more raw by the black-and-white film-like quality of the shots. But there’s also a sense of hope, of humans taking action and life going on.
LateNite Films’ wonderfully creative short film is the longest film on this list (at over 12 minutes long), but you won’t want it to end. It tells the story of a stop-motion animated skeleton and his fight for survival in the film industry. Along the way, he meets up with other out-of-date special effects characters, including an animatronic dinosaur and a living animation cel.
The attention to detail here is sublime. It comes off as a love letter to retro cinema, with fun movie references scattered throughout. That it manages to make a skeleton so expressive and alive is truly impressive. You don’t want to miss this delight.
Do you agree with our list? Were there any short films from 2020 you think we missed? Let us know in the comments down below or on social media.
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For even more short film round-ups, you can find all our previous #AmazingFilm posts here.
Gemma joined the Blueprint Film team in 2021 as our marketing coordinator. She takes care of our social media, email marketing and advertising campaigns. Her strengths lie in following trends, conducting research and writing compelling copy.