The top short films of 2019 are a pithy reflection of the the tumultuous times we live in. We have taken great leaps in progressing humanity with movements like greater mental health awareness. Yet, there have also been downsides as seen in the contentious rise of nationalism and fascism.
At the core of it is a shared sense of humanity. And as seen in this year’s picks, there remains much to celebrate, understand and examine. Here are the Top 10 of 2019, in no particular order!
The world as seen through the eyes of a child is an unbiased place
Four children of different races come together to help bury a dead cat. This benevolent act sparks an innocent exploration of race and religion as different rituals and beliefs appear when honouring the dead. The unbiased way the children learn about each other is an endearing and enlightening watch.
Set in a post-apocalyptic Malaysia, this short films features a young Malay girl and her neighbour, a carefree Chinese boy. Their budding friendship is complicated by the community’s fear over the division of infected and healthy humans. It’s a masterclass in showing how humans seek to bond and fight for these bonds.
A child’s search for his missing cat becomes a touching analogy for a child’s insecurity and anxiety when their home becomes fractured. Inspired by real life trauma, Jonah Garcia has crafted a light-hearted yet absurd coming-of-age story that will resonate with viewers of all ages.
Exploring society’s hardest issues through comedy
Why would a 75-year old repeatedly shoplift? A young lawyer tasked to uncover the mystery behind the serial thieving grandma learns there is much more to her compulsive crimes.
A chosen one and a virginal patron saint on a mission commanded by God are some of the unconventional elements that make this Filipino comedy a raucous joy to watch. Incisive in its coverage of Catholic devotion and human desires such as love and lust, watch why ‘Saint Nena!‘ is one of the top 10 films of the year!
Can zombies learn how to be humans? In St. Zombian, they can, but the process will be a soul-crushing one. The satirical short film is a sly look at Hong Kong’s rigid spoon-fed education system that parallels many different Asian countries which emphasise rote learning over critical thinking.
In memory of their friend who was murdered, three girls come together to commiserate. In their grief, they perform the ‘Goyang Kubur” ritual which unleashes an uninvited guest at their party. ‘I Dance On Your Grave‘ is an unabashed B-movie that smartly examines the role of the ‘final girl’ in the horror movie genre.
Being human means celebrating the highs without dismissing the lows
An existential crisis has never looked so colourful as seen in this award-winning short film by Beakus and Mighty. This animation is a must watch for all restless souls seeking to find their spark in life again.
In the middle of the night, two souls with typically looked down upon jobs find each other. A street walker and a street sweeper share a raw honest moment of humility and kindness as they converse under the dim lights.
Letting go of someone you love has never been so emotionally charged as seen in this animation. A man who has preserved his wife across a mountain of computers is forced to face his greatest fear — facing life without his beloved.