Best of Vimeo 2016: Connoisseur’s Guide to the Year in Video

Posted on December 23, 2016


Vimeo’s Staff Picks are nearly always right on the money, the best video, FX and animation from artists across the world. Picking the best of 2016 is no simple task, but these videos are the cream of the crop.


Categories for Vimeo’s Best of 2016 include Action Sports, Documentary, Drama, Comedy, Travel, Animation and Eye Candy (for fx, graphics and visual aesthetics). The judging panel was able to pick from several jury winners from this year’s film festivals as the best from Sundance and SXSW chose to share their films through Vimeo.

In there intro to Vimeo Volume 2016 the curators note that while this year was a sad one for the departure of so many great artists, there is at least some solace in the fact that Vimeo continues to be the place where the best visual artists choose to share their creations with the world.

Or as Vimeo sees it: “As curators, there’s a unique thrill to discovering a video on Vimeo, sharing it with the community and then witnessing it go far and wide across the internet with audiences reacting the same way we did when we first watched it.”

Action Sports winner: When We Were Knights by GoPro

A paean to friendship, BASE jumping and flying suits, When We Were Knights is GoPro’s zoom into the love between two friends who take great risks and enjoy incredible experiences together. For me, it’s not the pick of the bunch, and as it’s my blog I’ll go for what I prefer instead. Check out the film below, Glue by Christian Haller, a tone poem beautifully edited, spotlighting the artistry of snowboarding.

Animation winner: ManOMan by Simon Cartwright

Have you ever seen puppets engaged in primal scream therapy? Of course not. Simon Cartwright’s ManOMan is hilarious. Try reading the description for his beautifully constructed film and not being sucked in. “Glen is barely a man. In a desperate attempt to tap into his masculinity he attends a primal scream therapy session, but even surrounded by wailing men he cannot make a sound. When another member of the class pushes Glen too far he finally lets something out – a miniature version of himself which does whatever it wants, regardless of the consequences.”

Special mention should also go to Pineapple Calamari by students from the National Film and TV School, about a horse with extraordinary talents.

Documentary winner: 4.1 Miles by Daphne Matziaraki

This coverage of the Mediterranean refugee crisis is one of the New York Times’ Op-Docs. Instead of covering the political magnitude of what is going on in places like Greece, it concentrates on the personal and the story of a coastguard on a small Greek island whose job now includes saving thousands fleeing war torn countries from drowning in the sea.

Or you could also try These C*cksucking Tears the true story behind the making of the first gay country album in 1972 – Lavender Country.

Drama winner: Hyper-Reality by Keiichi Matsuda

Matsuda’s super-saturated media vision of the future shows what hell awaits us if augmented reality is allowed to impinge too much on our lives. Taking shows like Black Mirror as its reference it shows the shallowness of technology when every aspect of our lives is gamified. The film has incredible graphics and more than a pinch of black humour.

Next pick – Over “During the course of 9 wide shots told in reverse order, we watch an intriguing story unfold. What has happened in this quiet neighbourhood? A murder, a hit-and-run, an accident? The reality is both profound, and deeply unexpected.”

Eye Candy winner: AICP Sponsor Reel 2016 by Method Studios

Purely commercial but playful 3D graphic work from Method Studios. Sponsors for the Association of Independent Commercial Producer Awards (for TV advertising) are represented by dancing avatars. Top class motion capture and graphics work.

No slouch either – it’s a must watch – is Everything Is In Your Hands which looks at the wonders of our five fingered friends and their manual dexterity (in 4K from Gioacchino Petronicce).


The Best of the Rest: