The Best Shortfilms by Country

The shortfilm concept has clearly traveled the globe. More than ever creative people around the world are choosing film, and especially short films, as a medium to express themselves not only artistically, but politically as well. Video has always proven itself to be the most powerful communication tool and advancements in our digital world have now made it possible for people from all walks of life to produce their own masterpieces affordably and without years of technical training.

Our mission at SFC, has always been to be a free platform dedicated to showcasing both amateur and professional productions from around the globe. With our new website feature, Best Shortfilms by Country, we look to build a list of the best films grouped by country. We feel this feature will really add value to our visitors’ experience on the site, literally, affording them the ability to travel the globe without leaving their chair.

We hope these productions will provide a small taste of culture and perspective from places far away from your own. Happy travels!

Country Index

Best Shortfilms in Argentina

Argentina is the only Latin American country to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, twice with The Official Story (La Historia Oficial, 1985) and The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de sus Ojos, 2009), which eventually was remade by Billy Ray in 2015, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts. With a variety of film schools, it stands out has one of the most established industries in Latin American Cinema, preserving a balance between commercial appeal and auteur filmmaking. The country’s most recent international success occurred in 2015 with Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes, 2014), a film ensembled by six different standalone shorts, connected thematically by violence and instinct. The film was received with widespread acclaim (well, almost, because ironically, some Argentinian critics like Roger Koza despised it). It won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film, and was also in contention for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, and the Oscar.

best shortfilms in Argentina

Best Shortfilms in Australia

The Land Down Under is known for many things: laid-back attitude, hot weather, and dangerous spiders. But it is Australia’s creative film industry that has been gaining popularity over the last handful of years, especially with its memorable characters and cult classics like The Castle, Crocodile Dundee, and the late and great Steve Irwin. With many of its stars becoming big names abroad - Chris Hemsworth and Nicole Kidman to name just a couple, it is important to see where they came from. Here are seven engaging and entertaining short films made by Aussies that showcase the talents ready to take over the world stage. They vary in genre, theme, and length, but they all do their job in keeping the audience riveted and coming back for more.

best shortfilms in Australia

Best Shortfilms in Belgium

Belgium's film industry has generated some amazing filmic creations in the past few decades, from the conventional and naturalistic work of the Dardenne brothers to more disturbing pieces of art like the unforgettable ‘Dog Bites’ (1992), by the crazy Poolvorde. Thanks to established film schools such as the INSAS or IAD, Belgium has groomed a massive number of filmmakers, both Belgian and foreign, and in every festival there is always a Belgian short on the menu. Belgium has a language and peculiar culture, divided between the Walloon and the Flemish communities. It's also small and squeezed into the middle of Europe, yet contains the European capital (Brussels). We at SFC wanted to celebrate the remarkable production of this great country by offering a selection of what we believe are the top 10 Belgium shorts online. The list is a subtle mix of everything from dramas that provide realistic portrayals of humanity, to hilarious comedies that are sure to make you belly-laugh.

best shortfilms in Belgium

Best Shortfilms in Brazil

Brazil is Latin America biggest country, and has been making movies since the beginning of the XIX century. Back then, it enjoyed a very early “Golden Age”, famously called the bela época, in which more than 100 short films were produced per year. However, its national cinema is rarely recognized in big markets like North America; language is one of the main reasons, but lately there’s been a growing interest toward its films, thanks partially to filmmakers like Walter Salles or Fernando Meirelles, directors of Central do Brasil (1998) and Cidade de Deus (2002), respectively. Brazil's film industry has gone through periods of boom and bust, given its dependence on state funding. It has become more prolific in the last decade, thanks to the burst of digital cinematography; a new generation of independent filmmakers has produced movies like Aquarius (2016), contender for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, or Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014), a coming-of-age queer drama, winner of more than 20 international awards.

best shortfilms in Brazil

Best Shortfilms in India

The Cinema of India could be the most underrated of the world, because of the cultural barriers between East and West that prevent the audiences from other continents to enjoy the films of Bollywood. We could blame Hollywood and its marketing machine, but that’s a whole different story for another day. Indian cinema is the largest film industry of the world in terms of film production: their annual output it’s almost of 2,000 feature films of all genres and sells an estimated 3.6 billion tickets annually across the globe, although the western markets don’t tend to make wider releases for it. The most famous Indian directors working today are Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur), Mani Ratnam (Kannathil Muthamittal) and M. Night Shyamalan, whose career has been widely located in Hollywood and most recently with the support of Blumhouse Productions, where he was able to secure his creative vision with films like The Visit and Split, one of the best films of 2017 according to the list by Cahiers Du Cinema.

best shortfilms in India

Best Shortfilms in Ireland

2015’s Brooklyn brought the Irish film industry into the centre stage of global cinematic contributions. But, the Irish film industry’s history is worth a mention and goes beyond its recent spectacular deliveries. James Joyce, the famed novelist & poet set up Ireland’s first official cinema house, Volta, in 1909. Since then, however, a series of events from fight for independence from the British, censorship of film act amongst others eclipsed the industry. It was not until the 70s’ that the Irish filmmakers found their voice, again. With the establishing of the Irish Film Board in 1981, Ireland came to be promoted for both; as a destination for filmmaking and a booming film industry. Whilst the Volta cinema has closed since, Ireland retains the top position for highest number of cinema goers, the highest in Europe! With a breathtaking landscape and a dialect that is as poetic and unique as theirs, it’s a no brainer that there are plenty of takers for Irish films. Here’s listing top 5 picks from the Irish film industry for those who’d love to immerse themselves in the Irish cinema and also for those who haven’t had the fortune to indulge in one!

best shortfilms in Ireland

Best Shortfilms in Italy

Italy is a country with a fairly stable film production and with a large number of internationally recognized filmmakers. In addition, it’s one of the countries that contributed to the developing of filmmaking itself, making cinema what it’s today; we refer, of course, to Italian Neorealism, which would serve as a basis to inspire new avant-garde later, such as Dogma 95. Italy has won 14 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, and has received 12 Palmes d'Or, an outstanding record. It’s most prominent filmmakers were probably Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Roberto Rossellini, all of them legendary directors whose films are studied in films schools around the world (especially 8 ½, we might say, although Rossellini’s War Trilogy it’s equally or even most important, thanks to its historical documentation of Europe at WWII).

best shortfilms in Italy

Best Shortfilms in Mexico

Mexico’s relationship with cinema goes back to 1896, the years of the Lumière brothers, when the first film screenings occurred in the halls of the Chapultepec Castle. Since then, there was a creative awakening that would lead to a golden age in the 30’s, specially influenced by Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, who visited the country in 1930 to make a film (which he never finished). This story would be told by Peter Greenaway in Eisenstein in Guanajuato, his 2015 dramedy. Mexico has twice won at the Cannes Film Festival: The Grand Prix for Maria Candelaria (1946) and the Palme d'Or for Viridiana (1961). Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón could be considered its most successful film directors, thanks to the international appeal of their films and the critical and commercial success that have come with them. As far as the Oscars go, Iñarritu won two back-to-back with Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) and The Revenant (2015), while Cuarón got his Academy Award for Best Director with Gravity (2013).

best shortfilms in Mexico

Best Shortfilms in New Zealand

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of New Zealand’s film industry is Lord of the Rings, but this small nation’s contributions are far more than that. Independent films - those without the backing of a major production company - often give the creators more control, allowing them to take risks and think outside the box. New Zealand has definitely done this, not just in its longer films like Whale Rider and Once Were Warriors, but its short films as well. Often released on the internet and at film festivals, short films show audiences a snapshot of an often larger story. The true skill comes from the ability to introduce the handful of characters quickly, while also beginning the story in an interesting way. The audience’s attention must be captured instantly. A few of New Zealand’s best short films are outlined here, and show the ability of those that call the small islands home.

best shortfilms in New Zealand

Best Shortfilms in Norway

From the very beginning of the Scandinavian film, Norway built its own identity surrounded by Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. A strong competition, indeed. Just like in literature, Henrik Ibsen fought his way to the top, his grandson Tancred Ibsen made Norway's first feature-length sound film, The Great Christening, and dominated the country’s film industry through the 1930s. Like in many Scandinavian films, in Norwegian cinematography there is a huge connection with nature. It plays a great role. They tend to explain relationships between characters and bring their thoughts and feelings closer to the viewers through nature. In almost every film there’s an unexplained, mysterious presence of a force larger than man. Norwegian film industry keeps expanding, and more and more young authors are developing their work based on this powerful and unique Norwegian view of life.

best shortfilms in Norway

Best Shortfilms in Spain

Spain has given the world a rich variety of film directors, whose works has been recognized by the most prestigious magazines, festivals and award shows around the world; even though Pedro Almodovar might be the most recognizable name among them (All About my Mother, Volver, The Skin I Live In), Spain produces around 250 films per year, which tells a lot about the country’s commitment to the develop of its industry, who has won more than 500 international awards since 2010. Alejandro Amenabar and, most recently, J.A. Bayona, are also well known for having built a career that spans from arthouse cinema to most prominent Hollywood efforts, like Oscar Nominee the Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Throughout the year, 45 film festivals are celebrated in Spain. Among them, San Sebastián, the Valladolid International Film Week - SEMINCI, the Malaga Film and the Ibero-American Film Festival of Huelva.

best shortfilms in Spain

Best Shortfilms in Switzerland

It seems like the last big thing we heard about the Swiss cinema is the amazing work of Jean-Luc Godard. Even though he is a French-Swiss film director, we tend to relate him to the 1960s French film movement La Nouvelle Vague. Maybe we see the Swiss cinema more through its neighbor countries: France, Germany, and Italy? But there are more and more exceptions lately, like Markus Imhoof’s film about the climate-change era “More Than Honey” from 2012, or the animated film “My Life as Zucchini” directed by Claude Barras, which was nominated for an Oscar. Ursula Meier, a Geneva-based filmmaker received the Silver Bear at the Berlinale with her film “Sister” in 2012. More and more new film talents emerge from Zurich University of the Arts, but unfortunately, most of their films don’t have the international attention they deserve.

best shortfilms in Switzerland