The short films of Neill Blomkamp


13th August 2009

Embargo prevents me from telling you just how totally awesome District 9 is, so in the meantime, here are director Neill Blomkamp's short films, including Alive In Joburg aka District 8 and a half.

District 9 - Trailer

Cast aside when his Halo movie adaptation was sunken by an over-inflated budget, South African director Blomkamp bounced back pretty strongly with District 9, a film which - without giving too much away - gives a whole new slant on the 'alien invasion' genre. It's released on Friday 4 September; make sure you catch it because it kicks insane amounts of ass.

Alive In Joburg

District 9 is basically the big-screen, feature-length version of this short, so if you want to go in completely cold, some of the finer details within might be considered spoilers. Really though, it's just a taster for what's to come, sharing the same authentic Johannesburg setting, the same shaky-cam, cinema verite style, and the same weirdy beardy type aliens.

Halo: Landfall

What got Blomkamp noticed was his work on this live-action promo for the Halo 3 videogame. Originally drip-fed to the salivating fanbase in three parts, Halo: Landfall also shares elements with District 9: the conflict between humanity's military might and deadly alien weaponry perhaps the most obvious. If the Halo movie is to be resurrected, pray it looks as good as this.

Tetra Vaal

Another Blomkamp short, Tetra Vaal further examines Blomkamp's obsession with extraordinary characters - in this case, a police robot - in ordinary settings. Yet again, the dusty, picturesque setting of South Africa makes for a stunning backdrop.


Like most hip young directors, Blomkamp started out in commercials. This short film, created for an Adidas campaign on colours, has almost nothing to do with trainers, and - unsurprisingly - almost everything to do with themes of identity and, er, robots.

Evolution - Nike advert

This is just a pretty cool trainer advert for Nike. Unlike Yellow, it actually features trainers.

Vancouver Film School Showreel

Though he probably cringes to look at it now, this college animated showreel shows just what promise the young Blomkamp had. His eye for a shot is certainly evident, even in his earliest work.

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