Grab a quick pick-me-up with these uplifting short films

Kiwi short film experts Show Me Shorts curated a punchy gift of uplifting short films to watch at home during lockdown. Here, Liam Maguren adds three more shorts to lift the heart and stamp a smile on your face.


Balloona Laguna

The funniest film about child labour you’ll ever see, this rib-tickling animation follows a bored kid forced to make balloon animals for his cruel dad to sell (and then literally eat the money). That all changes when he hears the sweet, sweet sound of a breaded man playing the trumpet.

I saw this one a few years ago at the New Zealand International Film Festival and it still puts a big, stupid smile on my face – everything’s so expressing and over-exaggerated for the sake of comedy. It even changes animation style completely for a brief moment, which goes to show how much this short embraces its own gleeful chaos.

Today’s the Day

YouTube sensation Daniel Cloud Campos seemingly tasked himself to out-La La Land Damien Chazelle, and he gets pretty damn close with this joyful my-time-to-shine musical.

Campos proves himself an incredible multi-threat of talent – he acts, he directs, he sings, and he dances like a demon in tap shoes. However, it’s his choreography and symbiotic collaboration with cinematographer Morgan Susser that makes this musical fly.

Kai Lin: Out on a Limb

This short doc is a lovely testament to the power of partnership and problem-solving. Despite living in different states of the US, designer Kai Lin and disabled rock climber Craig Demartino combined forces to create an incredible prosthetic foot inspired by mountain goats.

The feat is incredible in its own right, but Kai and Craig’s bond take this tale to a heartwarming new height. All their interactions are done through video chat, which makes this story all the more relatable during lockdown, and further proves how kindness and empathy can still flourish even when social distancing.