Skill and vision fuel the best short films, as these early experiments from revered directors illustrate.

Short films are at the heart of new British Cinema. It's in short filmmaking that countless emerging talents find their voice, and where a new generation of storytellers challenge and entertain in original ways. Among today's shorts filmmakers are the feature giants of tomorrow. The BFI has proudly backed many great shorts over the years and here you can find some of the most beautiful, fun and daring. From Stephen Frears' 1967 film debut to Terence Davies' remarkable trilogy and on to the 1990s 'New Directors', 21st century digital pioneers and beyond, the Shorts collection shows filmmakers at their experimental and innovative best.

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Drama201323 mins Location: London

A twisted short film from Stephen Fingleton, director of The Survivalist. A man obsessed with ‘voyeur pornography’ meets his match in the form of a photographer known only by his online username ANORAK.

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Christmas PlayChristmas Play

195918 mins

Taking the lid off the creative process - of a group of theatrically-minded 11-year-olds as they stage the nativity.

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Documentary19879 mins

The queer alphabet - from AC/DC to Zipper.

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Amelia and the AngelAmelia and the Angel

Amateur film195826 mins Location: South Kensington

A young angel scours London for her wings in this tender short by the young Ken Russell.

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Dead HungryDead Hungry

Horror200910 mins

A hungry zombie finds love while terrorising teenage campers in this gruesome but fun twist on the zombie movie.

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The London StoryThe London Story

Musical198616 mins Location: Waterloo Sta

Sally Potter's lively dance film about spies and government intrigue.

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Things We Leave BehindThings We Leave Behind

Horror200916 mins

For whom does the bell toll? A man discovers a dreadful secret among his late father's belongings.

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The WatchersThe Watchers

Drama196926 mins Location: Todmorden

A Yorkshire teenager begins to see and hear strange things in this unsettling slice of 60s sci-fi.

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This TownThis Town

Documentary19698 mins Location: Halifax

An impressionistic portrait of Halfax from 1969, focusing on the demolition of factories and the continuing deprivation in the town.

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Drama201025 mins

A young woman attracts the attention of a street criminal after she prevents his gang from pick-pocketing.

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Never Come MorningNever Come Morning

Drama198912 mins Location: London

Johnny, a poetic loner, crosses paths with a young runaway woman and together they embark on an all-night, pulp fiction journey through London’s sleepy metropolis.

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Anton & MintyAnton & Minty

Fantasy199518 mins Location: Soho

Minty’s hobbies include drinking tea, smoking roll-ups and falling into a coma, while Anton dreams of clinically depressed sheep breaking into the house.

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Ten Bob in WinterTen Bob in Winter

Drama196312 mins Location: Westminster

An early classic of Black British cinema about the intriguing social dynamics that arise as a ten shilling note is passed around the black community.

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Dead LondonDead London

Drama199620 mins Location: Farringdon Station

Ewan Bremner and Dexter Fletcher star as a pair of morbid fortune tellers in this modern tale of dark arts.

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The Chalk MarkThe Chalk Mark

198823 mins Location: Glasgow

Set in and around the tenement blocks and rubbish tips of the Glasgow slums, this short film depicts a young boy’s perspective of his family, his friends and the local ‘bad man’.

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Future Lasts a Long TimeFuture Lasts a Long Time

Crime199614 mins Location: Fens, The

Dream-like short film starring Samantha Morton, in one of her earliest screen credits, as one of a couple on the run who hide out in the Fens.

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Momma Don't AllowMomma Don't Allow

195621 mins Location: Wood Green

This lively profile of a night out at the Wood Green Jazz Club is one of the key works of Free Cinema, from directors Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson.

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Boy and BicycleBoy and Bicycle

Drama196528 mins Location: Hartlepool

Ridley Scott's first film features his younger brother, the late Tony Scott, as a schoolboy playing truant for the day to meander around Hartlepool on his bicycle, lost in his own thoughts.

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Refuge EnglandRefuge England

Drama195925 mins Location: London

A Hungarian refugee attempts to navigate 1950s London with no English, little money and only an address on a postcard for guidance.

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Drama195138 mins Location: Ammanford/Rhydaman

This drama-documentary about the everyday life of a Welsh caretaker and ex-miner was the first film produced by the BFI, in 1951.

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Comedy199141 mins Location: Limehouse

Deliciously dark psychodrama about a Docklands bus driver who turns his family home into a second Noah's ark.

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Animation & Artists Moving Image197014 mins Location: Brighton

A kaleidoscopic experimentation in colour, in which familiar Brighton locations are distorted and interspersed with imagery from adverts and film clips.

More Backed by BFI: Shorts in our Rentals collection.