short film

Posts tagged
with short film

Animation Illustration

Conner Griffith Animates the World of Objects Through Historical Engravings in ‘Still Life’

May 25, 2023

Kate Mothes

Still Life,” a short animation by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Conner Griffith, opens with a classic game of “guess which hand.” As the illustrated hands open and close, a tiny ball morphs into a series of tools and other household objects, and we are whisked off on a journey through more than 1,000 historic engravings. Collecting images from sources like the Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature, and Art and Gray’s Anatomy—both published in the 1850s and now in the public domain—Griffith examines how items and materials help to define lifestyles, attitudes, and consciousness of the world around us. “The film explores the idea that we live in a world of objects and a world of objects lives within us,” he says.

Find more of Griffith’s work on his website and on Vimeo.


All images © Conner Griffith




Documentary History Science

A Humbling Short Film Visualizes the Breathtaking Magnitude of 13.8 Billion Years of Cosmic Existence

May 24, 2023

Grace Ebert

The human conception of time is limited. We often think in hours, days, and years, units of measurement that are comprehensible when considering our lifetimes or those of generations past. Even decades and centuries, though, are only a minuscule fraction in the timeline of the universe and are wholly inadequate when assessing a nearly 14-billion-year history.

A new short by Alex Gorosh (previously) and Wylie Overstreet (previously) helps to visualize the immensity of cosmic creation beyond the clock and calendar. Four years in the making, “To Scale: TIME” takes the filmmakers to a 4.3-mile stretch across the arid Mojave Desert, where they install small lights to create a timeline of human civilization and the broader universe. Augmented with visuals of galaxies and historical events, the resulting work captures the magnitude of 13.8 billion years and is an awe-inspiring reminder of how small humans are in both time and space.

Watch the humbling film on YouTube, where Gorosh and Overstreet also share a making-of video that documents their process. “To Scale: TIME” is the second project in the duo’s series of model-based works and follows their striking visualization of the solar system.


A gif showing a timeline

a gif showing a timeline

a still of the Mojave desert with text saying "universe timeline 13,800,000,000 years 6.9 km (4.3 mi)"




Ruslan Khasanov Brings Cosmic Phenomena Down to Earth in His Mesmerizing Short Film ‘Space Iris’

May 18, 2023

Kate Mothes

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

All images © Ruslan Khasanov, shared with permission

For more than ten years, Ruslan Khasanov (previously) has been enthralled by the ecstatic effects of light, color, and movement, which he expresses in an ongoing series of photographs and videos. Composed of a mixture of liquids like water, oil, and paint, he captures hundreds of high-resolution images that are then edited into a short film titled “Space Iris,” which is accompanied by an original composition by Fabio Fonda. “The iris, with its intricate patterns and colors, shares a striking resemblance to the vibrant and colorful cosmic nebula,” Khasanov says. “Just as the eye is a window to the soul, the nebula serves as a window to the vast universe beyond.”

You might also enjoy his earlier projects “Eye” and “heterochromia iridum,” which you can find among many other pieces, on Behance and Vimeo.


A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A GIF of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A GIF of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.

A photograph of mixed liquids that resembles an abstract eye iris or cosmic nebula.



Dance Documentary

‘Then Comes The Body’ Follows the Nigerian Ballet Academy That Stepped into the Global Spotlight

May 8, 2023

Grace Ebert

In June 2020, a clip of the then-11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu dancing in a rain-soaked courtyard made the internet rounds. The video shows the young student gracefully performing on wet concrete, presumably demonstrating what he’s learned from Leap of Dance Academy. Located in Ajangbadi, Ojo, a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria, the ballet school garnered global attention after that viral moment, including from prestigious organizations like the American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet, celebrities like Viola Davis, and the broader public.

A new documentary titled “Then Comes The Body,” directed by Jacob Krupnick of Wild Combination, pulls back the curtains on the genesis of the academy and follows its students, sharing their stories as individual artists and what it means to be part of a community with grand ambitions.

Established in 2017, Leap of Dance is the creation of Daniel Ajala, who began running the school out of his home as a way to offer free instruction to those who might want to pursue ballet as a profession. “I wanted, more than anything, to give that opportunity to those younger than myself so they wouldn’t miss their chance like I did,” Ajala said in an interview, noting that, since ballet isn’t widely practiced in Nigeria, he learned from YouTube. “It was too bad that I was as old as I was when I realized I wanted to dance.”


a dancer on top of a yellow van

Krupnick first found out about the school and Ajala when much of the world did: with that first video of Madu. “Dance and movement are central to a lot of my films, and I always have an eye out for stories and collaborators that make me curious,” Krupnick says. “I’m a White filmmaker, and a theme that I’ve explored in my work is how it feels for non-White people to enter spaces where they haven’t historically felt welcome.”

After getting in touch with Ajala and learning more about his story, Krupnick traveled to Ajangbadi, where he spent time with the students in their neighborhood and learned more about their practices and dreams. This became the origin of the short film, which was created in partnership with Lagos-based producer Damilola Aleje. Showing the dancers atop yellow vans, moving in the streets, and teaching each other, the documentary offers insight into the immense impact of a single school. Leap of Dance, as the trailer shares, has already helped secure scholarships and performance opportunities for many involved, including Precious Duru and Olamide Olawale who, along with Ajala, narrate the film.

Premiering this June at Tribeca Film Festival, “Then Comes The Body” is an encouraging look at the power of expression and community and asserts that, as Ajala says, “ballet is here to stay.” (via Kottke)


a long shot of a corridor with a dancer in a distant doorway

a dancer performing outside a home with laundry strung on the line

Dancers performing in a group outdoors




An Animated Swimmer Dives into the Exhausting Experience of Working Under Pressure

May 3, 2023

Grace Ebert

A relatable animated short from the Ukrainian artist and director Iulia Voitova captures the total collapse and immobility of burnout and exhaustion. “La Plongeuese,” or “The Diver,” follows a professional swimmer so affected by a rigorous training schedule and the incessant noise of her coach’s whistle that she decides to give up her career entirely. When she visits a talented masseuse, though, she finds that her nerves and anxiety, which Voitova brilliantly depicts with tightly crimped paper, finally get some reprieve.

“La Plongeusese” was the director’s graduation project for La Poudrière, an animation film school in Valence, France, and you can find more of her works on Vimeo and Instagram.


A swimmer with crimped paper legs stands at the edge of a diving board

A swimmer with crimped paper legs stands at the edge of a diving board while a coach blows his whistle

A hand pulls at the middle finger of another hand, with two fingers in crimped paper

A large man stretches out a swimmer in exaggerated fashion




A Stunning Timelapse of Ice Melting Ties the Climate Crisis to an ‘Eternal Spring’

April 20, 2023

Grace Ebert

Melting mounds of snow, icicles dripping from gutters, and morning frost quickly disappearing from the grass are all telltale signs that spring is near. But what happens when the landscape is suspended in a perpetual state of thaw not tied to the change of the season? Christopher Dormoy wades into this question in “Eternal Spring,” a mesmerizing short film that magnifies the properties of melting ice.

Shot with a macro lens, the timelapse zeroes in small frozen pockets that appear like cavernous landscapes and vast tundras, tying the film to its large-scale concerns. “Melting ice is beautiful and symbolizes spring, but it can also symbolize the problematic aspect of our climate,” the Montreal-based art director says. Given the incredible loss of ice already happening at the poles, “Eternal Spring” takes on additional meaning when linked to the climate crisis and what it means to inhabit a rapidly warming planet.

The film is part of a larger archive of Dormoy’s experimental projects, which you can find on Vimeo.


an animated image showing a cavern of ice melting

A tunnel of ice opens upward to the nighttime sky with a bright moon at the center

an animated image showing a cavern of ice melting