2020 Sundance Shorts

by | Jul 20, 2020 | Films, Virtual Cinema | 1 comment

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival Short Films — Grand Jury Prize Winner & Nominees
is an 82-minute program of six short films from this year’s festival, with comedy, drama and documentary from around the world.  Re
ntal fee $10 per household.  LAST DAY FOR RENTAL – JANUARY 15, 2021.

Benevolent Ba

Director/screenwriter Diffan Sina Norman, Malaysia/U.S.A., 10:00, in Malay & English, English subs.
Nominee, 2020 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film

A fun-to-watch, dark, off-beat comedy with some slightly sinister undertones – deliciously tense and absurd at the same time.

When someone buys a new piece of property in Malaysia, apparently they have to celebrate by slaying and cooking a goat. A matriarch’s desire to observe the ritual thrusts her family into a sacrificial slaughter of biblical proportions!


Hot Flash

Director/screenwriter Thea Hollatz, Canada, 2019, 10:00, in English. (Brief, innocuous nudity)
Nominee, 2020 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film
Nominee, 2020 Annecy International Animated Film Festival – Best Short Film
Nominee, 2020 SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Award – Best Animated Short
Nominee, 2019 Toronto International Film Festival Short Cuts Award – Best Canadian Short Film

A meteorologist is due to go live on local television in the middle of a hot flash, in this animated comedy about a woman trying to keep her cool when one type of flash leads to another.
A beautifully paced and entertaining short with an unique approach to the subject matter.

The Deepest Hole

Director Matt McCormick, USA, 2020, 13:00, in English.
Nominee, 2020 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film

The documentary The Deepest Hole chronicles the little-known history of the United States and Soviet Union’s Cold-War race to see which country could be the first to penetrate 10 miles into the Earth’s crust and reach the Earth’s mantle. While neither country completely accomplished their goals, the effort indirectly inspired a now infamous urban legend and one of the earliest examples of “fake news” going viral on the internet.


Director/screenwriter Ashley Williams,  U.S.A., 11:00.
Nominee, 2020 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film

Subtly humorous, yet poignant and moving, Meats opens with our heroine in a butcher shop, in tears. A long-time vegan, now pregnant, she’s wrestling with a strong craving (driven by her unborn child) for eating meat. What a predicament!

She recounts the multiple ways she feels guilty for consuming any animal, all while staring at and longing for the lamb on the butcher’s work table. How will she balance the disdain vegans share against consuming meat and the pleasure of partaking in the carnal practice every once in a while?


Director/screenwriter Keisha Rae Witherspoon, U.S.A., 2019, 15:00, in English.
Nominee, 2020 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film
Winner, 2020 Berlin Intl Film Festival – Golden Bear
Winner, 2020 Miami Film Festival – Made in MIA Award
Winner, 2019 Blackstar Film Festival – Audience Award
Winner 2019 New Orleans Film Festival – Audience Award
Nominee, 2020 Palm Springs Intl ShortFest – Best Short

A film crew follows three grieving participants of Miami’s annual T Ball, where folks assemble to model R.I.P. t-shirts and innovative costumes designed in honor of their dead.

So What if the Goats Die?

Director/screenwriter Sofia Alaoui, Morocco/France, 23:00, in Berber & French, English subs.
Winner, 2020 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film
Winner, 2020 Champs-Élysées Film Festival – Jury Prize Best Short Film
Nominee, 2020 Palm Springs Intl ShortFest – Best International Short

Abdellah, a young shepherd living with his father in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, is forced to travel two days  to get food and save the family’s sheep and goats. Once he gets to the nearest village, he faces a supernatural phenomenon that challenges long-held beliefs, separating dogmatic religion from spirituality.

1 Comment

  1. Tim Swallow

    Always edgy, eclectic and sometimes mystifying. this year’s picks lack the violence seen in some prior-year selections, which is OK by me. BTW, sheep and goats co-star in three of the films!
    I first thought The Deepest Hole was a mockumentary until I researched the film – it is a true doc about the cold war race to drill the deepest hole in the earth’s surface. Overall, the variety is nice — Moroccan science fiction, Malaysian good luck ritual, plus animated hot flashes, the way a community in Miami honors departed loved ones and a pregnant Vegan’s sudden obsession with meat.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This