British filmmaker Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception) is now a major player in Hollywood and this 1997 short short film, Doodlebug, displays the darker tone that would serve Nolan so well in his successful feature film career. In Doodlebug, we find a ragged man tormented by a bug in his ratty apartment. It has a nice twist that also highlighted Nolan's fondness for visual effects. Nolan went on to make his first feature film, Following, soon after.
Burton revealed his hand in this stop-motion animation film - made when he was 23 - in which a young boy dreams of being horror legend Vincent Price. It was not his first short film but it introduced him to the wider film world as a darlky humorous director, which would lead on to his first successful feature film, Beetle Juice. Having Vincent Price narrate this short animation film was a salient move.
Set in Paris and starring Natalie Portman, Hotel Chevalier is a self-contained romance that also acted as a precursor to Wes Anderson's offbeat feature film, The Darjeeling Limited. Jason Schwartzman is the lovesick patron of the hotel when he is visited by the woman (Portman) who pushed him into his Parisian hideaway. This is what love is like in the real world: painful and heartbreaking.
Neill Blomkamp was born in Johannesburg (Joburg), South Africa, but emigrated to Canada when he was 18 and ended up working as a 3D animator in America. His life changed after making Alive In Joburg, which so impressed Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings, King Kong) that Blomkamp was invited to turn his short film into a feature film: District 9.