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.
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.
Documentary19698 mins Location: Halifax
An impressionistic portrait of Halfax from 1969, focusing on the demolition of factories and the continuing deprivation in the town.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.