The end is upon us, so shall rise a new beginning. With that we look back at another incredible year we had, and celebrate the sum 2023 with our traditional yearly Top 10. This year again, we dug through our entire collection from Featured Shorts, Daily Picks and YouTube Selections for the Top 10 finalists.

The films in this list we’re picked with the hard work of our curation team along with reactions and preferences from the public, we put together the stand out films that resonated the most and captured our imagination. Here is our Top 10 of 2023.


Top 10 2023

10. Orion - First Born

Science Fiction / Fantasy by Ash Thorp
(United States)

Ash Thorp is back into our Top 10 (Edifice – 2018, Lost Boy – 2016) with another otherworldly visual masterpiece. While the film describes itself as a teaser trailer, it surely gives a unique and evocative experience. With a blend of fantasy, myth, and introspective storytelling, ORION delves into the eternal cycle of sacrifice and violence, providing viewers with a glimpse into a larger world of wonder and intrigue.

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9. Never Fuggedaboutit

Drama / Comedy by Dustin Waldman
(United States)

“Never Fuggedaboutit” hits us in the most New York way possible. In the wake of post-9/11 anxiety, a struggling post-production house faces a daunting task: removing the Twin Towers shot from the intro of the hit TV show ‘The Sopranos.’ The film poignantly explores how storytelling can reflect society’s wounds and foster unity, or division of some sort. It serves as a tribute to the Twin Towers and a testament to New York’s indomitable spirit.

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8. Waltz

Music Video by Lado Kvataniya

‘The Waltz’ tells about an invisible connection with a departed loved one and the mystical possibility of soul reincarnation. Director Lado Kvataniya is a storyteller who thrives on metaphors, conveniently finding his niche in creating music videos with an accent on cinematography. ‘The Waltz’ is a music video created for Georgian band Mgzavrebi, tells a story about an invisible connection with a departed loved one and the mystical possibility of soul reincarnation.

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7. Clementine

Science Fiction | Action by Zach Ramelan

“Clementine” is a gripping sci-fi short film that will leave you on the edge of your seat. In this seemingly-dystopian world, a smart home is the ultimate safety net, protecting its inhabitants from the dangers of the outside world. But what happens when the safety net turns into a trap? Zach Ramelan takes us on a journey of fear, desperation, and survival, raising important questions about the role of technology in our lives and how far we are willing to go to protect ourselves. The film will captivate you from start to finish with its compelling storyline and suspenseful atmosphere. We checked in with director Zach Ramelan who told us a little more on this thrilling film.

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6. Valentine

Romance by Beck Kitsis & Chris McNabb
(United States)

‘Valentine’ explores an intimate narrative that many couples go through as one or both are transitioning in gender or sexual identity. Directors Beck Kitsis and Chris McNabb don’t shy away from bringing their own personal experience to the screen, where they wanted to share how shifting identities can affect a romantic relationship and test the strengths of love between two people. The film is beautifully shot in a tender tone, that truly captures the essence of the feelings and emotions shared between this couple.

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5. Petit Louis

Romance / Drama by Andre Bato
(United States)

Okay we may have bent the rules a little on this one. Running at 55 minutes, it breaks our “45 minutes” maximum length for short film submissions. But trust us, it’s worth it! ‘Petit Louis’ has all the essences of a short film, but takes its time to truly dig into the story it demystifies. Andre Bato invites audiences into a realm of romantic melodrama, unfolding the intricate relationship between Chiara, a spirited young runaway from America, and J, a mysterious French artist. Set within the quaint confines of a theatrically charming European apartment in the mid-1970s, the film takes viewers on a nonlinear journey through the highs and lows of love.

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4. 10-33

Drama by Alexander Seltzer

We described ’10-33′ as one of the most terrifying films we’ve seen all year. Not because of a blood-curdling creature lurking a home, but rather from the brutal reality of facing a ruthless and despaired gunman in what might be potentially your final moments. Director Alexander Maxim Seltzer looked into his personal fears, covering an issue that is very often considered an American issue. This genesis of 10-33 came from experiences surrounding the countless horrific attacks perpetrated more often than not by men against women in Canada.

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3. A Brush of Violence

Drama / Suspense by Daniel Lawrence Wilson
(United States)

This year longer films seem to be taking the helm. Daniel Lawrence Wilson’s ‘A Brush of Violence’ flirts with feature-length structures and development, an incredibly well toned and paced film that carries the story through its deep character development. The intriguing and dark style keeps us on edge of suspense from beginning to end – where time never truly seems to drag. The film is about Akila, played by Mia Krystyna, a prominent photographer who is given the rare opportunity to capture images of an enigmatic famous painter. From there Akila is forced to confront the limits she will go for her art. A thrilling drama that will keep you on the edge of your toes.

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2. My Year of Dicks

Animation / Comedy / Documentary by Sara Gunnarsdóttir & Pamela Ribbon
(United States)

Yes, you’ve actually may have heard this title during last year’s Oscars animated short film nominees where it raised plenty of eyebrows. In fact, the nominees were called out by our last year’s number 2 spot on the Top 10 – and Oscar winner – Riz Ahmed for ‘The Long Goodbye‘. ‘My Year of Dicks’ is an hilarious and provocative work of animation thirty years in the making. Emotional and genre-mashing, an imaginative fifteen year-old is stubbornly determined to lose her virginity despite the pathetic pickings in the outskirts of Houston in the early 90’s. This charming, heart-stomp, retro-romantic-comedy pulls no punches with its female-forward look at sexual awakening. Icelandic director Sara Gunnarsdóttir is known for her honest, emotional artwork, and creator/writer Pamela Ribon (Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet, My Boyfriend is a Bear) has been telling unusual stories with unusual heroes for a long time.

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Best Short 2023

1. Frimas

Drama by Marianne Farley

Drumroll please…

Marianna Farley reaches our Top 10 once again (#4 in 2019 with Marguerite), this time taking the top honors in 2023! ‘Frimas’ is the 2nd “Film du Québec” to earn the top spot, after Jeremy Comte’s ‘Fauve‘ in 2019.

‘FRIMAS’ is a gripping and heart-wrenching reminder of the importance of safeguarding women’s rights and the devastating consequences of reproductive rights restrictions. Through Karine Gonthier-Hyndman’s powerful performance and Marianne Farley’s masterful storytelling, the film becomes a haunting exploration of the lengths to which women may be forced to go when their fundamental rights are under threat. ‘FRIMAS’ serves as a timely call to action, emphasizing the need to protect and advocate for women’s reproductive rights in an increasingly challenging landscape.

Congratulations Marianne and your entire crew.

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The Finalists

Picking only 10 films from the hundreds of featured shorts is quite a difficult task. Here are a couple of films that deserve an honorary mention and that just grazed the Top 10.

10 (+) Years of Top 10