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Most Popular Short Films of The United States

The United States of America has a rich and diverse history of filmmaking, dating back to the late 19th century when the medium was first invented, American cinema has played a significant role in shaping global film culture, and its influence can be seen in movies produced all over the world
The origins of American cinema can be traced back to the late 19th century when inventors like Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers began experimenting with motion pictures. However, it was in the early 20th century that the American film industry truly took off. Hollywood, a district in Los Angeles, California, emerged as the epicenter of the film industry. By the 1920s, Hollywood had become synonymous with the global film industry and American filmmakers have left an indelible mark on the global film industry, with their work influencing and inspiring filmmakers around the world. The USA's rich cinematic history is a testament to the creativity, innovation, and cultural impact of the nation's filmmakers. From the early days of silent cinema to the digital age, American films continue to captivate audiences worldwide, making the United States a true powerhouse in the world of filmmaking.

In this article we will introduced you the top 20 American cinema which boasts a plethora of timeless classics that have captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.

Speed Dating(2007): Speed Dating is a brilliant romantic comedy written and starring by Brian Beery, and directed by Isaac Feder. In this American short film we find Greg, who has recently broken up with his long-term girlfriend, trying a speed dating evening.

The Candidate(2010)The Candidate is something of a classic psychological thriller directed by David Karlak. It is perhaps a little heavy-handed by today's standards but its simple concept remains its strength. Burton Grunzer has a problem with his colleague. When a stranger arrives from the Society of United Action seeking ten minutes of his time, Burton agrees to hear him out. It appears the Society has a unique and seemingly lawful method of disposing of an adversary and want to know if Burton believes the method could work for him.

Yearbook(2014)Yearbook is a comic animation written and directed by American filmmaker Bernardo Britto. Although comical, Yearbook has a deep heart, questioning what we value as noteworthy. The story centres around a man who is asked to compile a yearbook for man's time on planet Earth. He is given seventeen years in which to create this document as this is how long it will take an alien missile to reach and destroy us.

The Neighbors' Window (2019): The Neighbors' Window which won the Oscar in 2020 directed by Marshall Curry is an examination of the greenness of the grass on the other side. Middle-aged couples with young children sees a young partying couple move into the apartment opposite, and are immediately reminded of their own unexciting lives. So much so, that the stressed-out mother becomes obsessed with the younger couple. However, everyone faces personal struggles and, after the passing of several seasons, it becomes clear that the couple opposite are facing a traumatic event.

Kitbull(2019): Kitbull was the best of ten short animations made by Pixar employees in 2019 who would not normally get a chance to lead on projects. That it went on to be nominated for an Oscar shows there is obvious talent lurking within Pixar's ranks (to get a job at Pixar one has to be pretty talented anyway). Kitbull is a simple tale about a scrawny street cat who comes across an abused pitbull. Initially afraid of the bigger animal, the cat realises that the dog is not necessarily to be feared.

DeKalb Elementary (2017): DeKalb Elementary directed by Reed Van Dyk was nominated for an Oscar in 2018. It retells the 2013 incident at McNair Academy in Georgia, USA, when bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff helped persuade a mentally ill gunman to give up rather than go on a suicidal rampage.

Blue Hole (2012): Blue Hole directed by Erik Gardner was a big hit on the horror film festival circuit. With a clever, circular idea at its core, Blue Hole tells the story of an eerie lake, near a cabin in the woods,that is said to be the dwelling place of the Devil. A couple staying at the cabin read up on the legend and decide to visit the lake, only for the entity within the water to pull the woman in. Based on the unfinished writings about the lake.

Latched (2017): Latched which is directed by Brunner & Harding is a short horror film with Hollywood production values that did very well on the short flim festival circuit. It follows the story single mother, Alana, and her breast-feeding toddler.

Cindy's New Boyfriend (2015): Written by Sean Sellars and directed by Robert Brinkmann, the comic Cindy's New Boyfriend was a finalist in in the 9th competition. The main story of the movie is Cindy is the ex-girlfriend of Spencer, who persuades his friend Nick that he should use his acting talent to scare off Cindy's new boyfriend. However, things go wrong when Cindy's new boyfriend turns out to be a man not easily scared. Brinkmann is better known as a cinematographer, shooting such films as The Cable Guy.

Vincent: Vincent is a 1982 American stop-motion animated short film written, designed and directed by Tim Burton, and produced by Rick Heinrichs. The main story is Vincent dreams of being like actor Vincent Price, and loses himself in macabre daydreams.

Intersection (2014):  Intersection which is directed by Brendan Beachman  showed at festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. Inspired by his own summer jobs, Intersection is a black comedy telling the story of two road construction workers who are dropped off in the middle of nowhere to police the non-existent traffic at a desert intersection (crossroads).

Goodbye (2015): Goodbye was made by Tyler Russo while at the California Institute of the Arts and is all the more remarkable for it. Goodbye could be classed as a horror, but is more disturbing than horrific. Having been killed in a road accident, a man finds himself bodiless and faced with a group of gatekeepers, who were once human but are now something else. It is the job of the gatekeepers to interview the man and decide upon a suitable vocation for eternity; and should surely try to avoid becoming a gatekeeper.

Cooped (2014): Cooped, a fantastic hand-drawn animation, was selected as the Best Short Animation in the competition. Written and directed by American Mike A Smith, Cooped is a comic short film that tells the story of a poor dog that is stuck inside all day while his master is at work. 

The Last 3 Minutes (2010): The movie is written and directed by American cinematographer Po Chan, The Last 3 Minutes is an unashamedly tear-jerking flashback through a dying man's life. Every shot is lovingly crafted and there are some beautiful American landscapes - as one might expect from an American DoP!

Mei (2006): One of those sweet, understated romantic dramas, Mei is the story of a young man who works on a noodles stall run by a father and daughter. He is, of course, in love with the daughter but the eponymous girl in question plans to use her English language skills to leave Taiwan and find a job in New York.

Jet (2012):  Joint winner of the 5th Film short competition, Jet takes its place amongst the very best short films ever made! This dialogue-free film is a gripping thriller in which a man who plans to use a handgun on himself sees a girl being snatched from the curbside and decides he must take action. Jet was a remake of a film Jordan made less than a year before but on a lower budget and tighter shoot.

Validation (2007): Validation is a fabulous romantic comedy that could rightly be placed in the romance or comedy sections. Written and directed by Kurt Kuenne, it is a modern-day fable about a guy who is validating parking tickets but also validating the customers by giving them compliments.

Parlor (2014): A bit of an all time classic, The Parlor is somewhat confusing to start with but you soon work out what is happening. It is a very nicely observed piece with fantastic dialogue and a nice little twist at the end.

The New Tenants (2010)Written by Anders Thomas Jensen, who also wrote the Oscar winning Election Night, The New Tenants are the eponymous gay couple who have moved into an apartment after the previous tenant was murdered.

Prey Alone (2005)Prey Alone by James Mather and Stephen St Leger has the feel of a blockbuster. It's quite incredible they should put so much time and effort, and presumably money, into a short film.



American cinema has a rich and storied history, continually evolving and adapting to new technologies and societal changes. From the Golden Age of Hollywood to the modern era of streaming services, the USA has consistently shaped the global film industry. While the landscape of filmmaking may continue to evolve, American cinema remains a vital and influential force in the world of film, showcasing the power of storytelling and its ability to connect with audiences on a profound level.




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