Room 8 by James W Griffiths won the 2014 BAFTA for Best Short Film. It's central idea seems to have been inspired by the Oscar-nominated animation Delivery by Till Nowak. However, it is still a beautifully made and mind-bending short film in its own right. Room 8 is the Russian prison cell into which an Englishman is dragged. His cellmate warns him not to open the box on the bed. However, curiosity gets the better of him and he must face the consequences.
It could be argued that Swimmer is more of an art film - with little story - than a narrative short film. It was commissioned for the London Olympics and doubtlessly had a large budget. Beautifully shot, Swimmer follows a long-distance swimmer as he makes his way through various British landscapes. As he passes, snippets of waterside events are seen, but these scenes apparently bear no connection to the swimmer himself, making it more of a visual poem than a narrative short.
Made in England but set in an Iranian school, Two & Two is an allegorical tale about a teacher telling his class of young boys that what they thought was the sum of 2 + 2 is wrong. With a writing credit for Gavin Cullen and its director, there are obvious similarities to George Orwell's famous book, 1984, where the populace are forever being told that they have in fact been fighting a different enemy to the one they thought. Two & Two was nominated for a BAFTA in 2012 and was Anvari's fourth shot film.
Connect, written and directed by Samuel Abrahams, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011. With moments of magic realism, it tells the story of a woman (a young Tuppence Middleton) on a London bus who is drawn to the man standing beside her and tries to form a connection with him. But will her advances be recipricoated? It is a subtle story of passing love, a litte reminiscent of Strangers.