Live from TED2016

The TED2016 film festival: Conference shorts

TED Conference sessions always include interstitial videos. Enjoy the ones that played at TED2016. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

TED Conference sessions always include interstitial videos — they’re the connective tissue between speakers. Enjoy the shorts that played at TED2016. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

Thought-provoking, silly and sometimes somber, the interstitials shown at TED2016 provide a needed moment for a breath between talks. The videos are meant to “light up different parts of the brain,” says Anyssa Samari, who scours the internet year-round alongside Jonathan Wells to curate this kindling that keeps the intellectual fires burning. “They create balance.”

Interstitials are the connective tissue of TED Conferences. So enjoy these 33 short films presented during TED2016 that will stretch your mind and invite you to dream a little bigger.

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The short: “Happy.” A lively, physical narrative that shows what happens when dance takes control.
The creators: Directed by Wendy Morgan, produced by Believe Media
Shown during: Session 10, The Dreams That Define Us
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The short: “5 mètres 80.” Giraffes perfect their form during a high-octane, high-diving practice session.
The creator: Nicolas Deveaux
Shown during: Session 2, Radical Repatterning
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The short: “Freedom.” A visceral demand for freedom that echoes across the world.
The creator: Directed by Paul Hunter
Shown during: Session 10, The Dreams that Define Us
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The short: “Upside Down & Inside Out.” Acrobatics and general hijinks done in-flight, in zero-gravity.
The creators: OK Go, directed by Damian Kulash and Trish Sie
Shown during: Session 1, Our Tomorrow
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The short: “Themes and Variations.” 3D animation is used to shift, move and morph the artwork of Yayoi Kusama and Ai Weiwei.
The creator: Ziye Liu
Shown during: Session 3, Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
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The short: “The Wikisinger.” An acoustic experiment across 15 locations, with delightful results.
The creator: Directed by Vincent Rouffiac
Shown during:  Session 9, Outside the Box
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The short: “School Portrait.” A cynical photographer faces off with an unnervingly optimistic child.
The creators: Directed by Nick Scott, produced by Michael Berliner
Shown during: Session 4, Life Hacks
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The short: “Pretzel.” Everyone has a great idea — until the Internet happens.
The creators: Directed by Ewoudt Boonstra, produced by Halal
Shown during: Session 6, Code Power
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The short: “Jessica Chastain.” A photo showdown, in which actress Jessica Chastain gets the last laugh.
The creators: Directed by Matthew Frost, produced by Vogue
Shown during: Session 4, Life Hacks
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The short: “Walking Contest.” The inner monologue of a person who accidentally walks side-by-side with a stranger, witnessed in slow motion.
The creator: Directed by Vania Heymann
Shown during: Session 4, Life Hacks
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The short: “It Takes Two to Make a Pair.”  Double up on fruits and veggies with a recommended serving of psychedelic funk rock.
The creator: Directed by Luke Stephenson
Shown during: Session 9, Outside the Box
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The short: “Garden Ape.” A curious ape wanders into a glorious garden and has the time of its life.
The creators: Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels
Shown during: Session 11, Fantasists and Catalysts
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The shorts: “Human.” Exclusively for Session 7, TED worked with Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the filmmaker behind the three-part documentary Human, to excerpt four powerful interviews as interstitials. The full three-hour documentary premiered at the United Nations in fall 2015 and provides an intimate look into the human condition through intensely honest personal storytelling.
The creator: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Shown during: Session 7, Imagine There’s No Countries
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The short: “Change Is Everything.” Stop-motion pins and string take on dynamic forms.
The creator: Directed by Nathan Johnson
Shown during: Session 9, Outside the Box
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The short: “Guiding Light.” An astronaut floats through space to fix … a streetlight?
The creator: Guy Shahaf
Shown during: Session 5, Deep Memory
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The short: “Scrabble.” The story of star-crossed lovers, as told through anagrams.
The creator: Directed by Rodrigo Saavedra
Shown during: Session 2, Radical Repatterning
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The short: “The Foley Artist.” One man diligently re-creates the sounds of a woman’s morning routine.
The creator: Directed by Oliver Holms
Shown during: Session 3, Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
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The short: “Five.” Five children, five cultures and five religions — in a little under five minutes.
The creator: Directed by Katina Mercadante
Shown during: Session 5, Deep Memory
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The short: “Outer Space.” NASA’s Voyager and Cassini mission footage, accompanied by orchestral wonderment.
The creator: Directed by Sander van den Berg
Shown during: Session 3, Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
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The short: “My Recurring Dream.” A dreamy journey that gives the peculiar sensation of moving backward and forward in time simultaneously.
The creators: Directed by André Chocron, produced by Andrea Ottmar
Shown during: Session 8, Nightmare?
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The short: “Teahupo’o Du Ciel.” The power and poetry of the ocean as shown through the artistry of surfing.
The creators: Directed by Eric Sterman & Brent Bielmann
Shown during: Session 12, Wake up!
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The short: “Ranch Beats.” Naturally occurring sounds make for a rockin’ good time.
The creator: Jarbas Agnelli
Shown during: Session 3, Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
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The short: “Microwave.” The silent victory, and ultimate defeat, of using a microwave in the middle of the night.
The creator: Directed by Daniel Koren
Shown during: Session 8, Nightmare?
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The short: “Paper World.” Origami wildlife demonstrates the delicacy of planet Earth.
The creators: Directed by László Ruska & Dávid Ringeisen
Shown during: Session 3, Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
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The short: “100 Years of Dance.” A supercut of the best moves in film over the last century.
The creator: What’s The Mashup?
Shown during: TED University
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The short: “Wide Open.” A dancer reacts to her curious, gradual transformation under familiar scrutiny.
The creators: Directed by Dom & Nic, produced by John Madsen
Shown during: Session 6, Code Power
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The short: “Across the Sky.” A man slacklines his way across part of the Utah desert.
The creators: Tim Kemple, Renan Ozturk and Anson Fogel
Shown during: Session 6, Code Power
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The short: “Interview with a Toddler.” An in-depth interview between a father and daughter that gets intense, but stays adorable.
The creators: La Guardia Cross
Shown during: Session 3, Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.