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The Kings of Comedy: 

Short Films to Make You Laugh

By Diogo Brüggemann

Comedy in film is as old as cinema itself. Several of the first attempts at adapting storytelling for the screen included comic elements, and now, decades later, comedy holds as one of the most popular movie genres. 
But making your audience laugh is as hard as making them cry, probably harder: Jokes that don’t land, a sense of humour which does not translate well, or a tone which feels out of place - there are plenty of reasons a comedy may flop. So, in order to understand some of the things which make a comedy work - or not work - we have brought to you two very distinct short films with contrasting senses of humour.

To discuss these films, I am very happy to host today’s episode of Make It Short with CenterFrame co-founder and filmmaker Bernhard Pucher, and Brazilian screenwriter and director Tomàs Fleck.

Although very different in their comedic approaches, the two short films featured in today’s episode are both creative and modern in their methods of creating humorous situations. They both share some deadpan elements mixed with a lot of irony - a combination that seems to be en-vogue recently. But here the similarities end, as one of these films feels more like a tragedy whereas the other feels like a good old stand-up segment. 

This goes to show how rich and diverse this genre is - and it also serves as an example of the different methods we can employ to draw laughter from our audience.

We start with one of the most unique and creative submissions we have ever featured since launching Make It Short. 

A King’s Betrayal, by filmmaker David Bornstein, is a beautifully directed, edited, and written satirical comedy which follows the last 24 hours in the life of a piñata. You heard it right, we hear the thoughts of a sentient piñata, chosen to be one of the attractions of a child’s birthday party. 

We are presented with the perspective of the papier-mâché container whose pre-determined future we are all acutely aware of. This clever point of view makes for a surprisingly funny and impactful story of hope and disappointment. 

We were all very impressed by this one-of-a-kind short film. In discussion with its creator, Bernhard focused on the poetic and tragic tone of the film, while Tomàs really enjoyed the serious language used throughout the story.


The second short film of the episode is very short - I’m Gonna Change is less than 4 minutes long - but it too makes an impact.



Here we meet a young woman who goes to visit friends and spend some time in a hot tub. Before she can join her friends, she needs to go to the bathroom and change her clothes. But as she goes and says “I’m gonna change”, rather than changing just her clothes, she decides to change her entire life, her very self. 

This play on words is funny enough in itself, but the film goes further and shows our main character launch into a speech, listing the many things she wants to change in her life, each more farfetched than the other, but still somehow believable. 

Although the writer/director Alexander Christenson was not able to join us for the filmed discussion, we did have a chance to talk with him off-air, where he told us the film was shot in a single day, by a group of friends who regularly engage in these ‘speed-filmmaking’ projects. 

Again, we all loved this short film, Bernhard focusing on its premise and production, whereas Tomas pointed out its amazing writing techniques.


I had tons of fun preparing and shooting this episode of Make It Short, and I very much hope you’ll enjoy watching it. Please don’t forget to take the time to watch both short films. I am sure you will be able to find valuable tips and interesting insights on filmmaking and the struggles of bringing a film to life. 

Also, you can go through our archive to explore previous episodes and learn even more from the experiences of filmmakers from all over the world. 

And if you are a writer or director and have produced any type of short film yourself, do not hesitate and send it to us to have it featured in one of the next episodes of Make It Short. Let’s join the conversation! See you next time!


How about sending us your Short film?

You can submit shorts from anywhere. Please make sure English subtitles are available if that's not the original language of your production.

We'll try to feature as many shorts as possible in the upcoming episodes of the show, but please be aware that it might not be possible to do so if we receive an overwhelming number of films.