Our Favorite Short Films of Tropfest 2016

Tropfest 2016 took place over the weekend and it was both an absolute blast for both veteran attendees of the short film-festival and newcomers who showed up in droves for the event.

This year’s Tropfest came down to 16 finalists and while this year’s winner Shiny is an impressive work of animation, it’s important to highlight some of the other gems that impressed us.

Waste of Time

Ben Nicholas & Alistair Marks‘ time-travel dramedy short packed a hell of a punchline but also some fantastic production values. The lighting and direction here was fantastic and really let you soak in the rich tone of the piece – even if this tension gets burst at the end.

Not to be bound up in the limitations of its short runtime, the script for Waste of Time does a great job of bounces between the most intimate and far-reaching implications of time-travel and Ian Bliss brought a gravelly gravitas to his character’s monologues that ranked as one of the night’s finest.

Check it out below:

Into the Maelstrom

One of several documentaries in this year’s Tropfest finalists, John Meredith‘s Into the Maelstrom examined the lingering importance of 80s band Radio Birdman. There’s not a single second or frame wasted here as the short runs through the origins, rise, fracturing and fallout of its subjects.

It’s fantastically scored and superbly produced. Most of the footage here is in black and white but it’s presented in such an effective and compelling way that it’s hard not to get on-board.

Check it out below:


Produced, directed and starring Guy Edmonds & Matt Zeremes, Hardball was one of the funniest short films of the night. In less than seven minutes, the pair not only managed to parody the self-seriousness attached to the playground sport of handball but also accurately convey the ridiculous and inherently-immature culture around it.

The dialogue was tight, the direction strong and there was some great scoring at work that really helped elevate the more fantastical elements towards the end. Hardball delivered on all fronts.

Check it out below:

What was your favorite short film of Tropfest 2016?


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