With the abundance of film festivals, not to mention sites like Vimeo and YouTube, short films are becoming even more popular for young filmmakers who wish to get their movies out there. They’ve become great stepping stones for people like Neill Blomkamp (District 9), Astron-6 (The Editor), RKSS (Turbo Kid), and shorts can even be launching pads for others to adapt them (Pixels, ugh). The latest group to throw its hat in the evergrowing short film ring is a Winnipeg collective that has produced a pair of shorts that hit the film-festival circuit.

Markus Henkel, Milos Mitrovic, Ian Bawa, and Fabian Velasco (known collectively as Markus. Milos. Ian. Fabian) make uniquely dark and absurd films that are like a mashup between fellow countrymen Astron-6 and fellow Winnipegian Guy Maddin. They offer simple character studies of people in emotionally intense situations that come with an absurd twist, which makes them stand out from the crowd of other short films.

Under The Neon Lights premiered at Toronto After Dark in 2013, and according to the filmmakers:

This absurdist tale of a young man married to a terminally ill plastic mannequin examines the devastating connection between love and death, and the impact of losing a loved one.

Be aware there’s some NSFW language in it:

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The Champ received a great reaction at Fantastic Fest this year and was also at Toronto After Dark. It’s another absurdist tale, telling

the story of a former boxing champion who awaits his impending execution. The nameless boxer has accepted his inevitable death, but is nonetheless determined to ensure that no one will ever lay claim to his championship belt. Left with only the fading memories of his past glory, the protagonist must now confront his final days before the indifference of a world that will undoubtedly continue on without him. The Champ is an exploration of our futile search for eternal glory in a finite existence.

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