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Three short films you can stream legally, for free

Reza Mardian
Reza Mardian

Film enthusiast

Jakarta  /  Tue, March 24, 2020  /  02:27 pm
Three short films you can stream legally, for free

Venture outside the YouTube algorithm and find some hidden gems. (Shutterstock/Alexey Boldin)

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting almost every industry, including entertainment. Movie releases are being pushed back, theaters are closing and film festivals are being postponed indefinitely, while everyone is urged (if not obliged) to stay home and avoid social settings as a means to lower the spread of COVID-19.  

Moviegoers’ only options are probably streaming services, such as Netflix, Viu, or GoPlay. But you’d have to pay for their subscriptions while spending your internet quota when streaming on their platforms. There are some platforms that you could stream, like Viddsee that provide amazing short films, most of which are for film festivals and probably too niche for casual moviegoers.

Read also: Streaming services compete in a locked-down world

At this point, YouTube is probably the only legal platform you could use to stream short movies. Here are accessible films with light premises that also embody deep messages. 

The Neighbour’s Window (2019) 

To make you more excited, this film won the Oscar for live-action short. It was written and directed (and edited) by Marshall Curry and he uploaded the film onto his personal YouTube channel.

The premise tells the story of a mother of three young children frustrated with her daily routine. But her life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street and she discovers that she can see into their apartment. The film follows the mother watching her neighbors’ daily routine.

It's about 20 minutes long and it will strike your empathy and contemplate that at the end of the day, we can never compare our lives to others. 

Read also: Kill time, not joy: How to be happy at home during the outbreak

Hair Love (2019)

Again, this film is also an Oscar winner in the animated short category. It was directed by Matthew A. Cherry and was uploaded legally to Universal Studio’s YouTube channel.

The six-minute film tells a heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. By the end of the movie, you’ll understand why and your heart will melt.

The film is culturally specific and yet so universally relatable. 

Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue (2019)

If you wonder why there’s no Indonesian film on my list, this is your answer. A four-minute short starring Christine Hakim and Ayushita and directed by Mouly Surya. The film is a part of the 30th Singapore International Film Festival opening and commissioned by the festival.

Ayushita and the legendary seven Citra trophy winner Christine Hakim play daughter and mother, respectively, minutes away from being wed in an Islamic-Javanese ceremony. Mouly manages to capture intimate moments between a daughter and a mother, and strong women living in the patriarchal society.

While the duration is very short, the impact of the story will leave you contemplating for hours. 

These three short films are just a few suggestions. If you would like to watch more thought-provoking films, Posi(+)if is Atiqah Hasiholan’s directorial debut capturing people living with HIV (PLHIV) released last year as part of an HIV-AIDS campaign, while a documentary short produced by Cameo Project, Perempuan Tanpa Vagina (Women Without Vagina), captures what it means to be a woman, even if you’re transgender. (kes)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.