Science Fiction Short Films

I’ve been a science fiction fan since high school. Not involved in “fandom”, but just a person who appreciates the story-telling potential of the genre. I also enjoy a good short film, as I have already mentioned here.

Science fiction is one genre that a lot aspiring filmmakers work in when they try out their skills. Sometimes, it leads to actual fame. Neill Blonkamp’s Oscar-nominated District 9, for example, was adapted from his short film “Alive in Joburg”.

Two years ago, award-winning animator Don Hertzfeldt released “World of Tomorrow”, a sixteen minute look into a strange future. When it came out, reviewers weren’t just calling it one of the best short films of the year, but one of the best films of the year in general. It was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Animated Short”, but lost to the more family-friendly and “multiculturally correct” “Sanjay’s Super Team”.

Well, there are awards specific to the science fiction community. Perhaps it won the Hugo Award for “Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form”. I looked. It wasn’t even nominated. The nominees for 2015 were all TV episodes.

The Hugos are given by fans, so it’s possible not enough of them saw it. Hertzfeldt released it as a “pay per view” item, and I suppose not enough fans wanted to bother coughing up the $3.99 to see it – assuming they even knew about it.

Well, I’m going to a local science fiction convention this weekend. I’m making it my mission to promote the incredible amount of wonderful work being done in short films, that can be seen (for free!) online. Instead of trying to remember names and URLs, or be so crass as to make a handout, I’d do a blog post and then just refer people here.

I don’t want to clog up your monitor, so I’ll give a list of films showing the quality and variety available after the jump.

First of all, here are some websites where you can find many more like these:

Vimeo doesn’t have a separate science fiction collection, but you can easily find some in their Staff Picks –

Short of the Week sorts their collection into “channels”, and one of those is science fiction –

At “The 7th Matrix”, Rod T. Faulkner collects and links to nothing but science fiction shorts – – well, OK, he adds some fantasy and horror into the mix….

“Dust” is a collective of filmmakers devoted specifically to producing and promoting science fiction short films –

Now to the films:

Ataque de Pánico! (2009) by Fede Alvarez.
Giant war machines invade Montivideo!

Black Holes (2017) by David Nicolas, Laurent Nicolas, and Kevos Van Der Meiren
A “proof of concept” short for a TV series now in development.  It’s “a satirical animated series about space conquest, the meaning of life and proctology. It chronicles the journey of Dave The Astronaut and his partner, an intelligent melon, as they embark on the first ever human mission to Mars.”

Johnny Express (2014) by Alfred Image Works
A lazy delivery man unwittingly creates problems for a planet when he tries to deliver a package there.

The Kármán Line (2014) by Oscar Sharp
“When a mother is hit by a rare condition that sees her lift off the ground at a slow but ever-increasing rate, her husband and daughter struggle to cope.”

Never Happened (2016) by Mark Slutsky
What if you could wipe your memories of something you’d rather not have done?

The Night the Moon Fell (2016) by John Bashyam
A curious boy gets up close and personal with the wonders of the universe.

Papa (2014) by Natalie Labarre
A tinkerer/inventor realizes he’s not the father to his daughter that he’d like to be, so he makes her a robot to help out.

Pumzi (2010) by Wanuri Kahiu
When the Earth has turned into a desert, a museum curator gets a strange package that hints at fertile soil somewhere outside her domed city.

Reset (2017) by Marcus Kryler and Fredrik Åkerström
“Living a solitary life, a young farm girl’s life begins to break apart.”

Rockfish (2003) by Tim Miller, Blur Studios
How do you go fishing on a barren, rocky planet?

Scavengers (2017) by Joseph Bennett
The survivors of a crashed exploration ship struggle with the planet’s surreal life forms in an effort to return home.

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