Short Films With Big Ideas

Feature films get all the plaudits, but there's a lot to love about short movies (40 minutes or less) that get straight to the point and allow up-and-coming directors and actors to hone their craft. Not sure where to start? Here are five suggestions.

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Short Films With Big Ideas


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    "Nian," Lulu Wang’s heartwarming short film, which was shot on an iPhone

    "Nian," Lulu Wang’s heartwarming short film, which was shot on an iPhone

    Wang, who wrote and directed 2019 feature film “The Farewell,” directed a new short for Apple in celebration of Chinese New Year, “Nian,” which puts a fresh twist on a well-known Chinese folktale. The 11-minute film was directed by Wang and her team from “The Farewell” and shot on an iPhone 12 Pro Max.

    "The Red Balloon," a 1956 movie that remains unforgettable

    Compared to the structural excesses of modern Hollywood films, The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) feels truly overwhelming because of its visual and narrative minimalism. And then again, perhaps such simplicity is what grants this unforgettable French film its awesome cinematic power.

    "Piper," the Pixar baby bird

    "Piper," the Pixar baby bird

    When it comes to animating feathers, sand, and water, the general rule—according to director Alan Barillaro—is “pick one, not all three.” But all three elements are on display in the heartwarming, shockingly realistic new short Piper, which has landed a coveted slot in front of Pixar's highly …

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