The best short films to enjoy from Omeleto

"Love at First Sight" is one of many films that Omeleto offers on its YouTube channel. (Photo via YouTube)

If you’re part of the small, yet proud group of individuals living without Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ during these days of self-isolation, you’re not alone. I can totally relate to the frustration of having to resort to old-fashioned cable TV as a primary source of entertainment.

Lately, I’ve been making the most of Verizon’s On Demand features and opting for late-night movies from channels such as TBS and FX. But beyond the popular, occasionally pricey streaming services and reliable cable lies a hidden gem for quality films: good old YouTube.

I’m not talking about the blurry or sometimes upside-down films found on obscure YouTube channels. I’m talking about one channel in particular that features high-quality films for everyone to enjoy for free.

Omeleto, a four-year-old YouTube channel dedicated to publishing short films, is a “home for the next generation of great filmmakers.” The channel features a wide range of genres and even some notable celebrity cameos, including Maisie Williams, Amanda Seyfried, Nick Offerman and the legendary Danny DeVito.

Scrolling through the channel’s enormous collection of videos is quite daunting at first. There are many films to choose from — but which ones are actually worth the watch? Below, I’ve provided a list of feel-good films I enjoyed from Omeleto and think others will as well.

1. Love at First Sight:

This 14-minute short film is a sweet, light-hearted girl-next-door romance. The film follows a young man and his great endeavors to impress a young woman who lives across the street. The man attempts to catch his neighbor’s attention by taking on different personas. At first, he embraces a macho-masculine character, later resorting to a heartfelt and intellectual personality. None of the main characters speak in the film, which serves to highlight their emotions, actions and nuanced interactions with others. The cinematography adds to the beauty of the entire short film and is reflective of the emotions the main character experiences.

The opening sequence of “Love at First Sight” is filmed in black and white and focuses on the man prior to meeting his crush. Once he opens his window and catches a glimpse of the woman he falls for, the film seamlessly transitions to color. This short film has you rooting for the main character and hoping that his great efforts will eventually pay off so he can win over his dream girl. Expect a sudden surprise and a happy ending.

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2. Orange Drive:

“Orange Drive” is a bittersweet coming-of-age film about the progression of a teen’s life as he experiences the highs and lows of adolescence. The entire short film is artfully filmed from an outside perspective looking into the teen’s car, which adds a layer of intimacy as we witness his happiest and most trying moments firsthand.

This film left me feeling nostalgic for high school days. Those years surely weren’t the most glorious of my life, and instead of looking back on them, I usually try my best to erase them from my memory completely. But surprisingly, this film forced me to be appreciative of all my high school experiences and reflect on all the small memories that made those years somewhat special.

3. Two Piece:

This heartfelt short film is about a young girl’s bikini shopping trip with her mother and brother. In a shop full of swimsuits of all sizes and styles, the girl eventually becomes frustrated after struggling to choose one that she likes and feels confident in.

Although the plot of “Two Piece” is seemingly straightforward, the acting from all three main characters is well-done and incredibly genuine. The dialogue between each character feels realistic rather than scripted, making the movie seem more like a sincere conversation between a loving mother, an awkward daughter and a humorous son. “Two Piece” ends on a happy note with the main protagonist finally breaking out of her shell and enjoying herself with her family.

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4. Drawcard:

When a man draws a cartoonish phallus on his boss’s sympathy card, things quickly go awry, and he finds himself in a sticky situation.

Ed, the protagonist, works a dull, simple office job. The film’s opening scene finds Ed in his small office cubicle making a call when he’s suddenly distracted by his coworker Jack. In light of Jack’s recent promotion, Ed’s fellow coworkers put together a farewell card for Jack’s departure. When Ed mistakes his boss’s sympathy card for Jack’s farewell card, conflict arises as Ed anticipates the end of his menial office days.

Nevertheless, “Drawcard” is a humorous flick with a surprise ending that adds to the film’s comical nature. Its conclusion is also a good reminder that permanent marker has that lovely, unique ability to bleed through paper.

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