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Best of Staff Picks: April 2016

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May 5, 2016 by Vimeo Curation Curation

April brings with it many things: May flowers, Earth Day, and an April Fool’s zine that’s actually a thing (for real, you can still get your own copy by sending us a postcard). But it also offered us a tidal wave’s worth of terrific videos. From festival favorites that finally poked their heads out into the online world, to embarrassing playbooks for talking to your teenage crush, we’ve been swimming in a sea made entirely of inventive filmmaking. 

The Vimeo curation team poured out our absolute favorites into the post below, perfect for diving into, and all set to hold you over ‘til the sun finally comes back out.

“The Board” from B Negative

We’ve been fans of David Shane’s work for some time now (you may remember the excellent videos “Second Thoughts,Playdate, and “The One”). His fourth Staff Pick “The Board” premiered at Tribeca in April, and it takes us into the perfectly crafted world of a teenager who is preparing — very strategically — to call a girl from school. What could possibly go wrong?

“Operator” from Yann Heckmann

This BAFTA-winning short brings you face to face with the difficult work of an emergency services operator. As a terrible fire unfolds, trapping a mother and her young child, the operator on the other end of the phone must keep her composure... while we’re left gripping the sides of our seats.

Michael Kiwanuka - “Black Man In A White World” from Hiro Murai

Director Hiro Murai continues his streak of brilliant music videos with “Black Man In A White World” by Michael Kiwanuka. This one pairs amazing technical achievement with a poignant, emotional message, yet it isn’t too polarizing or in your face with effects. Instead, both the message and the craft are subtle, leaving room for a fantastic performance from the lead dancer.

“Teeth” from holbrooks

After a strong festival showing in 2015, Tom Brown and Daniel Gray ’s animated short has finally made its online debut. With a style wholly their own, Brown and Gray weave the story of a man’s fascination and often tenuous relationship with teeth. If the perfect set of dentures or oral fixation is your thing, this short will certainly delight.

“MeTube 2: August sings Carmina Burana” from Daniel Moshel

A street performance takes a very unexpected turn in the latest from Daniel Moshel. Building upon the visual vocabulary established in the popular “MeTube 1,” Daniel pushes the boundaries to literally new heights. Curious how this film magic came to be? Get the behind-the-scenes action in their making of the film.

“Ma’agalim” - Jane Bordeaux from Uri Lotan

Few videos manage to evoke a sense of nostalgia while still feeling super fresh and innovative, but that’s exactly what Uri Lotan achieves. The video centers around an enchanting, animated wooden penny arcade, packed with as many beautifully designed characters as it is with whimsy.

Field of Vision - “Speaking is Difficult” from Field Of Vision

AJ Schnack’s powerful documentary is driven by the frantic, real-life 911 calls from some of America’s most tragic mass shootings. The audio, which is balanced by calm, uneventful footage from the scenes of these tragedies, shows how quickly peaceful locations can be rocked by gun violence. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was a victim of one of the shootings highlighted in the film, concludes the film with a moving call to action.

“Wrapped” from Crave

Hit play and absorb an impressively polished, brilliantly circular piece exploring the clash between civilization and nature. This graduation short from Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg finally came online last month after a global festival tour, which included Tribeca, LA Shorts, Festival of Beijing, and dozens more.

The Case of the Three Sided Dream from Monoduo Films

Do you know Rahsaan Roland Kirk? He was a multi-instrumentalist, blind from infancy, who grew up to reshape the conversation around jazz (which he termed “Black Classical Music”), racial injustice, disabilities, and more. Not only could he play multiple instruments perfectly, but he could also play them all at the SAME TIME! Adam Kahan’s vibrant and electrifying documentary brings Rahsaan’s legacy back to life through stirring interviews, archival footage, and interpretive animation.

Need to dip your toes into more videos? We get it. Visit our Best of Staff Picks archive and submerge yourself in the most outstanding things the Vimeo community is uploading.

1 Comment

Jeanette Zook

Am I to presume that as YouTube goes out (as has been rumored), Vimeo will take them over?

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