With end of year fast approaching, we look at the best short films of 2017

This year has been a particularly good year for short film. 2017 saw more dedicated short film festivals around the globe that there has ever been. This is important as festivals are an important signifier of just how healthy any particular art form is at any one given time. The sheer quality of the entries that made it through to global film festivals this year is a sign of just how much creativity and talent there is in the world today.

So without further hesitation, let’s take a look at the best short films of 2017

1.     Laps 

Writer/Director Charlotte Wells set out to make a film that details the harrowing experience of a young woman as she is sexually assaulted on the New York subway. A woman is seen riding a packed subway where commuters are crammed together like sardines. As she stands in the mass of people, she notices that an unidentified man has pushed himself uncomfortably close to her and is breathing on her neck. She stands there in horror as he begins to rub his groin on her from behind.

The whole film takes less than 6 minutes from start to finish and is a really amazing document into how it feels to be molested. Laps received two nominations at the Sundance Film Festival 2017. It was nominated for best film and for best editing in a short film. Blair McClendon won the Short Film Special Jury Award for his skillful editing.

2.     The Rabbit Hunt

There are few things regarded as so quintessentially American as hunting. This film follows a rabbit hunt and lays bare the beauty and ugliness of what happens during it. The film was made by Patrick Bresnan and his partner Ivete Lucas, both of whom are highly regarded in the short film circuit.

The Rabbit Hunt offers a refreshing look at the subject. The filmmakers refreshingly refuse to pass judgment on the events unfolding and instead let the audience do so. This impartiality remains even during scenes when the hunters begin to kill the rabbits with their sticks and clubs. It is perhaps the fact that such horrible scenes are mixed in with such a beautiful natural backdrop and likable characters that this film is so powerful. With numerous awards under its belt already, there is little wonder why The Rabbit Hunter is one of the best films of 2017.

3.     Pink Grapefruit

Pink Grapefruit is one of the most original screenplays of recent years. The story tells of a young couple who invite their friends out to Palm Springs in an attempt to get them to start dating. The film was inspired by Michael Mohan’s own experience that occurred during his marriage. Sometime after the event, several of his friends admitted to him that his marriage has inspired them to make some real life-changing decisions.

Pink Grapefruit is a film that explores how other people can become a catalyst for moments of realization within all of our lives.

4.     Black Holes

Director David Nicholas made Black Holes to explore the more humorous side of space travel. Following on from a slew of space films that have been released in the last few years, Black Holes is concerned with the human race getting to Mars.

Perhaps most striking about this film is just how elaborate and convincing the set designs really are. A huge amount of detailed effort has gone into creating as a realistic environment as possible, despite this film being a comedy.

5.     Yes, God, Yes

Yes, God, Yes is a wonderful comedy-drama that heaps on scandal and laughs as though they were cow feed. The film’s story is about a fifteen-year-old girl who has just discovered masturbation. The only problem is that Alice, has until this moment, been a practicing Catholic and always considered very innocent.

The film takes us on a journey of exploration as young Alice becomes increasingly obsessed with masturbation. Underlying the humor is an interesting examination of how young people come to cope with sexual feelings forced upon them by puberty.

6.     Blind Vaysha

Animated films are finding it increasingly hard to get shortlisted in festival competitions. Blind Vaysha is most certainly one of the best short films of 2017 and has been featured in many festivals around the globe.

Vaysha was born with unusual vision. One of her eyes can only see just past her other eye while the other is somehow able to only see the future. Because of this, she is known as blind Vaysha by the people of her town. The film follows her as she tries to come to terms with the two realities that she sees from each of her eyes. Blind Vaysha has featured on numerous festival shortlists, including the Academy Awards this year.

7.     Silent Nights

Another short film that was nominated in the 2017 Oscars, Silent Nights tells the tale of a volunteer who works at a government housing shelter for refugees. The main character ends up falling for one of the refugees who is seeking asylum from his home country of Ghana.

As things process, the film becomes a romantic touching piece that examines how borders and prejudices can never get in the way of love. No self-respecting list of the best films of 2017 would be complete without this film.

8.     Fry Day

Fry Day is another really disturbing film that asks us to examine wider social issues through the events surrounding a young girl. Director Laura Moss sets the film in rural America as serial killer Ted Bundy is to be executed. Many of the images end up being quite disturbing as the whole community seems to be blinded by bloodlust to see Bundy executed.

The film has received extremely positive reviews and has played at festivals around the country. The emotional depth and quality filmmaking most certainly make Fry Day one of the best films of 2017.