European shorts are often more cerebral than American equivalent. Here are some of the best from the land mass that gave us Godard & Bergman.

8 by Acim Vasic (2010) (Serbia/ Swiss) (9m) *

Written and directed by Acim Vasic, 8 was the winner of the fourth FILMSshort competition and is a masterful example of how to create a film with no dialogue. Two soldiers from opposing armies (naughts and crosses) find themselves alone in a snowy forest. A game of cat and mouse ensues as the pendulum swings between them - but there are ultimately few winners in the game of war! Be sure to check out more comptetition films here.


Rooted by Edwin Schaap (2011) (Holland) (5m) *

The young animator Edwin Schaap had an internet hit with his ill-fated, tunnel-digging worm, Robby, proving he could personify non-human characters. His 2011 short animation, Rooted, shows he is maturing and building upon his talent. In Rooted we find two trees planted close together but not within touching distance. They find a way to connect and reach a level of contentment as the years pass them by. However, with age comes the threat of destruction...

Copy Shop by Virgil Widrich (2001) (Austria) (12m) *

Virgil Widrich is an Austrian filmmaker (and now also a film tutor in his native country) who likes to play around with the medium, mixing live-action with visual effects. Copy Shop finds a man living a routine life and working in a copy shop who wakes one day to find his world replicating istelf in perpetuity. Read into it what you will. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002 and Widrich's next short film, Fast Film, played well on the intelligentsia festival circuit.

Copy Shop

Lady & The Reaper

The Lady And The Reaper by J. Recio Gracia (2009) (Spain) (8m)

The Lady And The Reaper (La Dama Y La Muerte) was nominated for the Best Short Oscar Animation in 2010. A sweet old lady looks forward to the cold hand of death so she can be reunited with her beloved husband. One night, while asleep, she is invited through the immortal door but before she can cross the threshold she wakes up in the ER. The narcissistic doctor has brought her back to life and now enters into a mad fight with death and the old lady..

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