A short film is an interesting proposition. Since you only have a few minutes, your scope needs to be smaller. But that’s also the rub. You have to pack in something pretty compelling to stand out. We love shorts here at Epic Games, so for the second time, we’ve hosted the latest Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge—this time bringing both Australia and New Zealand creatives into the mix. Today, we are pleased to share a few of the wonderful projects that truly understand how to say a lot with a little.
For anyone new to this edition of the Challenge, it worked like this. Industry creatives and students across Australia and New Zealand had just eight weeks to form teams and create an animated short film using Unreal Engine 5. Everyone got two weeks of training that showed them how to fit UE5 into a real-time animation workflow, and the final shorts were seen by some of the biggest production studios in the world.
We’ve assembled a selection of shorts from the Challenge below. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do; we’re especially thrilled that many teams went beyond UE5 and brought in other Epic Ecosystem tools like MetaHumans, Quixel, and more.
We’ll also be working with ArtStation on a feature that digs deeper into the student projects, so be on the lookout for that!
Without further ado, let’s watch some shorts!
UTS Animal Logic Academy – Robo Ramen
Set in a futuristic neo-Venice, Robo Ramen tells the story of a dishwashing robot who dreams of becoming a top chef. But it’s only when the owner has an unexpected accident that he gets the chance to step up to the plate.
Monkeystack – Hike
Hike follows a young teenager as they honor the memory of their mother via a shared love. Exploring the emotional turmoil of grief, memory, and growth, the film offers the viewer a unique moment to escape their daily distractions and focus on what really matters—their relationships.
Curtin University – Eidolon
A year after surviving the crash of their space station, the captain finally finds an opportunity to escape the prison they once called home, while avoiding the dangerous, non-corporeal beings that now stalk the desolate wreckage.
MHM Productions & Epically Casual – Cheng Beng
A lonely man in the afterlife who constantly receives material goods from his family on Earth must find a way to tell them what he really wants—a dog.
Griffith Film School – Displaced
Nik escaped the horrors of war and found safety in a foreign land. As he explores the busy streets of a vibrant metropolis, his mind keeps shifting back to his war-torn hometown. The noise and the crowds are overwhelming and summon painful flashbacks. Disoriented and distraught, Nik is lost between two worlds: the real world and the one in his memories. But a helpful hand and a friendly face are there to support him in both worlds.
Anthony Lever & Sarsha Wheeler – Gloom
Taking a shortcut isn’t always a good idea. Follow one couple as their holiday hike descends into a run for their lives.
Revolver & Heckler – Black Wing
In the rich Australian bushland, we find a Cormorant bird. Following the beats of an ever-changing landscape, we gain a deeper understanding of how adaptable and abstruse the creature is and how it has been perceived through time.
While these certainly are some fantastic projects, there are many more for you to watch if you want to keep going. You can see the full list here.
Epic would like to thank all the wonderful collaborators who contributed to this initiative: VicScreen, Screen NSW, Screen Tasmania, Screen Queensland, Screenwest, South Australian Film Corporation, and Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), as well as Australia Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Curtin University, Griffith Film School, Massey University, University of South Australia, UTS Animal Logic Academy, and the Victorian College of the Arts.
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