Savi the Cat (2022) [Tribeca Film Festival]

Directors Bryan Tucker and Netsanet Tjirongo’s “Savi the Cat” is one of the more unsuspecting short documentaries of the year. It’s a human story, but one that revolves around owning a pet. It’s amazing what adopting a pet can with and to your life. It can change it in ways that we never thought were possible, which is why so many pets are up for adoption. Not many people realize just how much of a task it can be to maintain and keep any kind of domestic animal. With “Savi the Cat,” the pair of owners not only learns about the humongous task that is of owning a cat, but the toll it inevitably takes on their relationship in the long run.

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Five Websites To Find The Best Short Films, Part 2

Early Internet viral short “George Lucas in Love.”

Seven years ago I posted a list of five great websites you can find the best short films, and thankfully more indie film websites have continued popping up. The need for short films hasn’t thinned over the years, thank goodness. Short films are great launch pads for big time directors, they’re great for proof of concepts to sell to studios, and they can just be mini-masterpieces that, at most, are about thirty minutes.

Hell, major film festivals like Fantasia, Slamdance, and Sundance still have short film line ups, so there’s no denying short films are absolutely valid forms of filmmaking. If you find a great short film, time just flies. That’s the joy of being a film lover.

If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of short films, or are interested in reviewing them for your blog, or podcast, or tiktok, here are five I wholeheartedly recommend. 

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The Bootleg Files: Vom Bäumlein, Das Andere Blätter Hat Gewollt

BOOTLEG FILES 829: “Vom Bäumlein, Das Andere Blätter Hat Gewollt” (1940 animated short made in Nazi Germany).

LAST SEEN: On the Internet Archive and on YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No sane U.S. label is going to put it into home entertainment release.


The filmmakers of Nazi Germany were pathetically jealous of their counterparts in Hollywood. After all, the German cinema suffered a creative brain drain after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, with the greatest talents leaving for other countries while significantly inferior pro-Nazi talents remained behind.
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Superman Awakens (2023)

Antonis and Stavros Fylladitis’s short fan film “Superman Awakens” is an absolute accomplishment. It’s only four minutes in length but it conveys a very interesting and intriguing story that is complimented by the massive animation. Rather than attempt a live action film, “Superman Awakens” is animated through CGI, created with Unreal Engine 5 using Lumen technology, and tells the tale of a Superman that has lost it all and is trying to find a reason to keep going.

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Martha (2019)

Director Christopher Haydon’s short film is both a compelling drama, and a rather captivating mystery. In its own way it’s a horror movie, but more a horror movie about loneliness, isolation, and repetition. The entirety of “Martha” is meant to be cryptic, as Haydon begins the film on a single scene of a woman sitting in a hall with a single red balloon.

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The Bootleg Files: See Ya Later Gladiator

BOOTLEG FILES 828: “See Ya Later Gladiator” (1968 animated short with Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzalez).



REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It seems to have fallen through the proverbial cracks.

Not likely at the moment.

Fans of the Looney Tunes animation series will probably wince upon learning which film is in the spotlight in this column. “See Ya La Gladiator” has the sad distinction of being the last (and perhaps the least) of the theatrically produced Looney Tunes animated shorts featuring the classic-era characters – in this case, the severely mismatched pair of Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales.
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Kalley’s Last Review (2020)

Man, Julia Bailey Johnson’s short horror film “Kalley’s Last Review” is gruesome. I mean it’s not just gruesome, but it’s also a sharp edged commentary on influencer culture and review channels on youtube. It’s kind of like watching someone just gradually descend in to madness, and while you really want to stop them, you can only just sit and watch them slide further.

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Last Call (2022)

There’s a lot of head scratching moments during director Becca Kozak’s horror comedy “Last Call,” and that’s both a good thing and a band thing. Director Kozak definitely relies on not really leaning on expectations, but that leads us down a bizarre narrative that I, frankly, wasn’t too clear on. It’s unpredictable, and weird, which is a plus. But I couldn’t quite understand to what end our villains were working toward.

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