As a sponsor for this year’s Sundance film festival, YouTube plans on doing a small presentation on indie filmmaking within the platform just prior to the premiere of Narrative Short Films — but sadly, we didn’t see any creators on this year’s short films program list. Here’s some of the creators I think should be showcased at Sundance (and SXSW for that matter), in no particular order:
Tony Valenzuela is one of those few creators who’s more well known for his work behind the camera rather than in front of it. It’s true that decent horror films are incredibly under-represented in both film festivals and in major award shows. I think Valenzuela can strike a balance between the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night and the type of narrative storytelling that one comes to expect from independent film festivals.
Mamrie Hart already has one feature film under her belt with “Camp Takota,” whose heartwarming story took the internet by storm. Hart clearly has the chops to handle any festival she decides to submit to, and likely will be able to elevate comedy in the same sense Valenzuela would elevate horror. Hart has already been able to break the stereotype that “comedy has no depth,” and shows no signs of stopping.
There’s no visual effects category at Sundance, nor a branch of it dedicated to this major part of filmmaking. If there were, Corridor Digital would likely garner every honor there would be to receive in the category. The guys over at CD are more than just visual effects artists. Every short created to show off a particular technique has a riveting story attached, that their effects serve to enhance.
Among some of our international creators, Emily Diana Ruth has already established herself as a talented filmmaker with her short “The Water’s Fine,” which she has submitted to multiple film festivals. Her shorts are beautifully shot, well-scored, and a perfect fit for Sundance.
I actually just discovered Sanchez’s channel and yes, I know it’s in Spanish. Yes, I also know that there are no subtitles. You know what’s awesome about this? You don’t need them. Sanchez manages to break down language barriers with his brilliant comedic films, some of which have no dialogue whatsoever. He could easily take the International category by storm with either a feature length or short film.
Ska is mostly known for his random, Robot-Chicken-esque series “ASDF”, but if you look past the hysterical animations you’ll find some very well made short films akin to some of the things you would see on Rocket Jump. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I like to have a little variety in film selection. Ska would be great for a solid action film, containing enough subtle undertones to qualify. Seriously, why are so many genres overlooked?
Devin should, nay, needs to make a documentary. My bet is it’ll be amazing, considering how fantastic and inspiring his videos already are. Not only does he have a master cinematographer at his side, his editing skills and storytelling ability with unscripted footage goes unmatched.
It’s almost unfair to put Neistat on this list considering he’s an incredibly well established documentary filmmaker. But you know what? He’s an amazing YouTube creator who puts together fantastically created pieces for everyone to watch. In good faith, I can’t leave him off this list.
Also known as Agent XPQ, Lev Yilmaz has created an amazing series of animations that aren’t really quite that animated. Branded as “confused comedy for confused people”, Yilmaz’s series deals with existential questions and those thoughts that pop into your brain at 3 am after a night of drinking. If ever fashioned into feature-length form, it might be able to compete with Don Hertzfeldt’s “It’s Such a Beautiful Day.”