The Aceys Shortlist Of 2018 Short or Experimental Films & Where to Watch Them

Want to catch up on 2018 short and experimental films? We’ve compiled this handy list of some of our picks for the year’s best––and we included links where you can see them or learn more about them!

Film Name


Where to watch online

(no paywall whenever possible)

’63 Boycott
63 Boycott chronicles the Chicago School boycott of 1963 when more than 200,000 Chicagoans, mostly CPS students, marched to protest the segregationist policies of CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis
Age of Sail
Set on the open ocean in 1900, Age of Sail is the story of William Avery (voiced by Ian McShane), an old sailor adrift and alone in the North Atlantic. When Avery reluctantly rescues Lara, who has mysteriously fallen overboard, he finds redemption and hope in his darkest hours.
All Inclusive
(doc short)
Director Corina Schwingruber Ilić sees the cruise (ship) as a microcosm of society in a confined space, where the opposites of our times collide: wealth and poverty, mass and loneliness, nature and artificiality, culture and commerce.
Animal Behaviour (short) Animated anthropomorphized characters in a therapy session… Oscar nominee
Athens, today. Seventeen-year-old, Aria working at the local kebab place, is waiting for a driving lesson with her father. trailer:
Ayka A poor Kazakhstani woman without a job struggles to raise her child.
A Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive. Oscar nominee
Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)
(stop-action short)
Accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shape-shifter and friend known as Sabe, Biidaaban sets out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees in an unwelcoming suburban neighbourhood in Ontario. excerpt
Set in the Australian outback, ‘Bilby’ follows the desert-dwelling marsupial Perry through the trials and tribulations of “parenthood” after he saves a defenseless chick from predators and inadvertently becomes her protector. Animated.
Bird Karma
A tale of a long-legged bird’s journey of blissful joy, inescapable greed and the accidental discovery of the consequences when too much is not enough. Animated.
Black Sheep
After the high-profile killing of Damilola Taylor, Cornelius’ family move out of London. But when they discover their new town is run by racists, Cornelius takes a drastic step to survive. Oscar nominee. Documentary.
Blue Christmas (short) On Christmas Eve, 1968, in a Scottish coastal town, a debt collector goes to work to avoid confronting his wife’s worsening psychosis at home.
(comedy short)
A man eats nothing but broccolli, which causes problems at work and gets him into conflict with a neighborhood hot dog vendor.
The Burden
An animated musical with animal personification and apocalyptic undertones. The story is divided into four episodes which takes place in a supermarket, a long term hotel, a call center and a hamburger restaurant.
When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day.
During a professional conference in Prague, two interpreters in the Hungarian booth realize that only one person is listening to them. They vie for her attention. trailer
Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle) (experimental) A film by Nathaniel Dorsky in the spirit of the early Chinese landscape, shifting perspective and rediscovering abstract imagery. (info here)
Come On Mandy A possibly homeless is woman the center of this voyeuristic film about the complete indifference of her dog in in response to hearing its name repeated over and over again.
Concussion Protocol (doc short) Mesmerizing footage of every concussion of the 2017-18 NFL season, played in reverse.
Counterfeit Kunkoo (short) In a city overflowing with buildings and slums, Smita must find herself a house to rent. She is hard-working, honest and respectful – the ideal tenant – except for one glaring flaw. She is a middle-class Indian woman without a husband
Cyclists (Biciklisti) (animated short) The cycling season is nearing its grand finale. During the final race, the two men in the lead are competing for more than the Grand Trophy; they are fighting for the affection of a lady.
(short) (overly melodramatic)
An urban romance doesn’t work out.
Deer Boy
A story about a hunter’s son, who was born with antlers, and about how each man kills the thing he loves.
Two ten year-old boys are detained by police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler. A true story based on interview transcripts and records from the James Bulger case which shocked the world in 1993. Oscar nominee
Don’t Be A Hero (short) A middle-aged woman battles her loneliness and boredom by robbing banks in the guise of a cowboy on her lunch break. But after the adrenaline rush wears off, she still has to deal with her deeply unhappy life. Inspired by a true story.
Faced with an emergency situation, a group of young Black and Latino friends carefully weigh the pros and cons of calling the police.
End Game
(documentary short)
Filmed and edited in intimate vérité style, this movie follows visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death and are dedicated to changing our thinking about both. Oscar nominee
End Of The Line (short) A lonely man goes to the pet store and buys a tiny man in a cage.
Set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer… Oscar nominee
Elizier, an emotionally-dejected new enrollee at The Edward R. Mill School for Boys, must overcome memories of a tragic past and the present hazing by his peers in order to tackle larger issues dominating his young life.
The Fisherman (short) After his mother’s death, James travels to Mexico in search of the father he’s never known, armed only with his father’s last known whereabouts and his mother’s ring.
Gagarin, I Will Miss You (Gagarin, mi mancherai)
An astronaut falls, maybe to Earth. The exploration of this mysterious place uncovers the nature of the voyage as well as the identity of the traveller. (if you like films that never explain and leave you wondering for weeks afterward, this is for you.) trailer
The Lincolns’ debate having a seance in the White House to help them grieve over the loss of their young son, Robert.
Great Choice
A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial. trailer
Hair Wolf
The staff of a black hair salon fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture. HBO starts Feb 11th!


Despite the huge developments in modern aviation, an inventor is obsessed with achieving his dearest dream: to fly using nothing but his arms.
(animated short)
Middle aged woman and man meet in a waiting room. Slowly, they get closer. He helps her take off her heavy, black fur coat that covers her naked body. That’s how the game between them begins: they keep seducing and exposing themselves. Their hands reach inside their bodies in which organs resemble floral forms. (Info here)
Irish Prince
On the day of his 56th anniversary a town elder tells of how he met his wife. However his mates find the story a bit too familiar.
Late Afternoon (short) An elderly woman drifts back through her memories. She exists between two states, the past and the present. Oscar nominee.
Volunteers from a German non-profit risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night. Documentary. Oscar nominee.
The Lion
A corporate recording session implodes when a seasoned voice over artist is pushed to his breaking point.
The Lion And His Wall
(documentary short)
An L.A. mural artist describes his passion project, a giant, building-sized mural.
Los Comandos (short) In El Salvador, gang violence has overrun the country, disproportionately targeting children and teenagers, and turning it into ‘The Murder Capital of the World’. The emergency medical unit, Los Commandos de Salvamento is one of the few institutions standing up to the gangs’ reign of terror, and is a place of refuge and community for young people. 16 year old Mimi is a dedicated Commando caught in the violence. When her friend and fellow Commando, 12 year old Erick Beltran, is gunned down while serving, she faces pressure to leave El Salvador and Los Commandos, and head north for a better life.
Lost & Found
A clumsy crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.
Magic ’85
Gabriel helps Trevor to a conscious death during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles in 1985.
Magic Alps
Italian border authorities are confounded by a refugee who insists that his goat is part of his family trailer
An aging woman and her nurse develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past. Oscar nominee.
When Teeny arrives to a gorgeous home for what she thinks is just another routine babysitting job, she is shocked to see who answers the door. Over the course of the day, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be. Until she gets caught.
May Day
A dozen desperate job seekers find themselves trapped in the most awkward job interview ever.
While at home in her apartment with her own mother in Spain, a woman gets a phone call from her six-year-old son, who’s on holiday in France with his father. Every parent’s nightmare ensues. Oscar nominee.
My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes
A filmmaker tries to uncover a better understanding of his deceased father through the random objects he inherited, including a pile of VHS dirty movies. Oscar nominee
A Night At The Garden (Nancy) Archival footage of an American Nazi rally that attracted 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden in 1939, shortly before the beginning of World War 2. Oscar nominee.
One Small Step (short) A Chinese-American girl named Luna dreams of becoming an astronaut. Oscar nominee
The story of Luna, a Chinese-American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut.
Pépé le Morse (short) On the windy and cloudy beach, Granny is praying, Mum is shouting, the sisters don’t care, Lucas is alone. Grandpa was a weird guy, now he’s dead.
Period. End of Sentence.
In a rural village outside Delhi, India, women lead a quiet revolution. They fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation. Documentary. Oscar nominee.
Redemption Square (short) A journey into the hidden world of Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles.
Shadow Cut
A restless young man approaches adulthood in rural New Zealand. He spends an afternoon with his best friend, struggling to confide his plans for the future.
A Siege (Ostrom) Very realistic and gritty wartime drama… about the little ways that the war touched lives and the sacrifices women made to survive. trailer:
A small supermarket in a blue collar town, a black man smiles at a 10 year old white boy across the checkout aisle. This innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash. Oscar nominee
Umbra (Tariki)
A few minutes after midnight, the young lady realizes that her partner disappeared after their sex. She goes out worried to seek her partner in the darkness of streets.
Todo se calma (short) Engulfed in her home, a woman makes plans to not leave the house. (info here)
A young black girl struggles to feel accepted by her white surroundings.
The Trader (Sovdagari)
A traveling trader provides a window into rural life in the Republic of Georgia, where potatoes are currency and ambition is crushed by poverty.
Vox Lipoma A short about Ingmar Bergman’s power, sexuality and facial lipoma that gives him no rest.
An 18 year old youth offender is trying to get his own business going as a mechanic. But enterprise isn’t so easy when you’re a young, black male with a criminal past. And it doesn’t get any easier when you’re framed by one of your new clients for a harrowing crime.
Weekends have been the glimmer of hope for the working youth. Kevin, PPT and Pari are 3 colleagues, who are also in pursuit of that elusive perfect Weekend. But somehow their plans always end up getting cancelled. Oscar nominee
Women of the Gulag (short) The film tells the story of the last known group of women who survived being held in the Soviet-era forced labor camps called Gulag.
A portrait of Zion Clark, a young wrestler who was born without legs and grew up in foster care.