5 Vimeo Staff Picks: January 2022

Vimeo – the hosting, sharing, and services platform provider – has some wonderful short film content for all to view. Below, ASFF recommends five short films added over the past month as part of the prestigious Vimeo Staff Picks selection.

Floaters: The Big Number Two

“I shoulda had a poo before we left!” So says Zach Braff’s renegade in Karl Poyzer and Joseph Roberts’ sublime comedy sci-fi animation, which played at our own festival in 2021 and is now available on Vimeo. A sequel to their own 2020 scatalogical effort Floaters, here Braff and British actor Joel Fry voice a pair of runaways who seem more concerned about their digestion than making their escape from a high security space prison. Very, very funny – the sort of short that will tickle anyone who loves Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

The Chimney Swift (Der Schornsteinsegler)

Frédéric Schuld’s award-winning animation The Chimney Swift claimed Best Animation at ASFF 2021 and has since qualified for the upcoming 2022 Academy Awards. The impressionistic and beautifully rendered hand-drawn 2D animation jars against the spoken words – based on a real letter written by a 19th Century British chimney sweeper, who describes his everyday routine of forcing children as young as four to undertake such brutal work. Disconcerting and upsetting – “I never got stuck myself,” he says, “but many of them did…and were taken out dead” – it is a striking piece of work.

The Elvermen

Isla Badenoch’s stirring 13-minute documentary was part of the ASFF official selection in 2021. Now it’s been picked for Vimeo before it heads off to the Berlin Film Festival. Set in the UK, around the banks of the River Severn, it follows a group of men as they gather in a race to catch the elusive elver, a long, thin, snake-like eel that was traditionally netted in the Severn over hundreds of years. Shot in the early-morning gloom, Badenoch’s film captures a hidden community at work. Poignantly, we’re told the elvers will die if they’re not captured. “The outcome of Brexit means we can’t trade with Europe anymore.”

Aly

Writer-director Thomas Wood’s short begins as Aly (Mamadou Diallo) gets ready for a night out at a party in Paris. A young asylum seeker from Guinea, he faces the mirror and imagines speaking to a girl he’s recently met. “You want to come dance?” he asks, almost shyly. But as he travels into the city, where police seem to be on every corner, the atmosphere changes. A naturalistic drama with little dialogue.

Caesar’s Dying Wish

Written by Tom Blackwood and Alex Cooper, who directs, Caesar’s Dying Wish is an amusing flashback to Roman times. Cooper plays Caesar, seen dying with his loyal servant Caecilius (Blackwood) as he desperately considers his eternal legacy and how he will be remembered. There will be a month-long games and statues of his likeness built in coliseums and amphitheatres. “Anything else?” he asks. “Well, there was this thing I had…” Caecilius replies. No spoilers here, but it’s brilliant morsel.


Words: James Mottram