10 Best Streaming Services for Short Films

From Pixar tearjerkers to Wes Anderson's Roald Dahl trilogy, there's no denying everyone loves a good short film. Some may say it's a lost art, those under-hour movies that launch a novice filmmaker's work into great heights, but go to any film festival right now and you'll quickly realize how popular and important shorts are. They're as pure as movies can get after all, free as they are from commercial expectations and industry restraints. So, if you're looking for an accessible way to watch, we've rounded up the best streaming platforms for short films. Many of them are actually free, or else rely on YouTube to host their titles, but some come at a price. Criterion is a reliable service especially if you're looking for classics, while Indieflix is great for more independent and global fare. The others have their own strengths and genre specialties, too, which you can read more about in the list below.
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Kanopy is an on-demand streaming service that schools and public libraries all around the US offer students and members for free. All you have to do is enter the details of your participating institution and you can start watching as you please. Because of the academic nature of the platform, Kanopy makes sure it streams only the most essential and important content available, which could mean hard-hitting films like Moonlight, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Lady Bird, Dogtooh, Memento, and Howard's End for certain viewers, or The Adventures of Paddington, Richard Scarry, and The Monster Math Squad for even other, younger viewers. There are also storybooks, documentaries, and educational programs available to watch as Kanopy makes sure to cater to every learner regardless of leaning or age.

Price: free for channels available

Device availability: Amazon Fire Stick, Amazon Fire Tablet, Android, Chromecast, iOS, Roku, Website

WeShort is a streaming platform that's dedicated to streaming short films from around the world. Because it's based in Italy, WeShort charges in Euro but it is available in 100 different countries including the US, where it charges about $3/month. With a subscription, you get access to an extensive catalog of short movies, many of them sourced from film festivals (Sundance is listed among their partners), universities, and cultural institutions. If you're not willing to pay, WeShort also has a free tier that gives you access to 10 new films every week, all you have to sign up with your email - no credit card information needed.

Price: $3.23/month

Device availability: Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Website

Short film streaming service Shortly has a wide array of titles, but it's especially focused on four genres: horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and thrillers. The films are sourced from around the world, which makes sense given that the team behind them is based globally, and they're available to watch on major streaming devices. Signing up for an account is free, as is your first day of usage, but after 24 hours most titles will only be available if you subscribe to any of their two tiers. The lower one costs $2.99/month while the higher tier, which gives you access to even more short movies, costs $4.99/month.

Price: $2.99/month

Free Trial: 1 days

Short of the Week is a streaming platform that hosts short movies from around the world and the internet. It doesn't have its own media player (yet) and only embeds films from sites like YouTube and Vimeo, but what it lacks in that department, it more than makes up for in curation. Most if not all of the titles you'll find here have participated in film festivals, and if you scroll down you can see different stats like the awards it's picked up and the badges it has received from the Short of the Week (or alternately Shortverse) community. For watchers, Shortverse is free to watch, and no sign-up is needed. But for filmmakers, the platform offers a monthly subscription ($4.99/month on an annual plan) that lets you host your own film page, connect you to industry people, share private screeners, and maybe most conveniently, filter through and join thousands of film festivals.

Price: free for channels available

What sets the London-based Klipist apart from other short film streaming services is that it's made by filmmakers for filmmakers, meaning art and accessibility are of top priority. You can start watching its curated collections (among them, "Strong Female Leads" and "True-story Inspired") without having to pay a single penny, much less sign up for an account, and you can do this wherever in the world you are since it has zero geo-block restrictions. It's great for watching fresh, smart, and edgy content, but it's even better for filmmakers since the platform promises to continuously market submissions and even screen them in select on-ground film festivals.

Price: free for channels available

IndieFlix is an online streaming service dedicated to independent filmmaking and is available in 85 countries. 

In the US, you can access IndieFlix for $6.99 per month, or a one-year subscription at a discounted $69. Patrons of IndieFlix may access IndieFlix free of charge. 

Price: $4.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Roku

Film Movement Plus is a video on-demand platform dedicated to independent and foreign films, and is currently available in the US and Canada.

In the US, it costs $5.99 a month (after a 14-day free trial) and can be accessed via any device, including IOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku.

Price: $5.99/month

Free Trial: 14 days

Criterion Channel is a curated movie-streaming service that offers ad-free and on-demand access to films from The Criterion Collection in HD. It is currently only available in the US and Canada. The subscription costs $10.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Like Netflix, the Criterion Channel also offers a physical rental service. The number of movies you can rent each month, for a flat monthly rate, depends on how quickly you can return them. You don't need to subscribe to The Criterion Channel to buy or rent physical media on DVD and Blu-ray, but subscribers may get discounts.

Price: $10.99/month

Device availability: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox

Crafty is a free streaming platform whose mission is to curate short films that showcase "heart and humanity." Its adorable name comes from the craft service that nourishes a film crew in snack-sized portions, so expect to see a lot of community-oriented chicken-soup-for-the-soul content, elevated by art and skill of course. Since it uses YouTube to host its short films, you don't need to register or make an account to start watching Crafty. But if you're a filmmaker, then you might have to pay a small fee (around the $5 range) to get your short up on the platform.

Price: free for channels available

Based in India but streaming globally, cineshorts is a subscription service that features more than 900 shorts categorized by genre, director, and perhaps most exciting of all, awards and festivals. Right now, cineshorts has films that have participated in The Oscars, BAFTAs, and SXSW. With that sort of premium content, however, comes a relatively hefty price tag: $10.99/month ($4.16/month on an annual plan), which apart from unlimited screening gives you access to behind-the-scenes content, personalized recommendations, and invitations to offline events. The platform also claims to give 70% of the revenue to the filmmakers they're hosting.

Price: $10.99/month

Free Trial: 7 days

Device availability: Android, iOS, Website

Ready to cut the cord? Here are the 14 live TV streaming services that offer a free trial.

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The streaming services on this page were chosen by our editors. If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service we recommend as a result of our research, analysis, and curation, our work is sometimes (but not always) supported by an affiliate commission from the streaming service when you make a purchase.

That's all from us for the 10 Best Streaming Services for Short Films!