Small Budget Film Track

Small budget filming is films done in a non-traditional, non-Hollywood way. Film types in this category include Fan Films and some Independent films. Film makers with small budgets are the most creative, finding ways to change the script filming techniques, sets, and so on to work with what they have. You hardly ever hear about these films because they have no monster marketing machine to get the word out.

The Shore Leave Small Budget film track aims to help you find some of the most creative audiovisual SF works around! To this end, we screen quality examples of these films in the SF&F genre including talks by the film makers and actors when possible. This track typically includes 8 to 12 hours of AV programming.

Film Descriptions

Black Angel

Length: 30 minutes

An Arthurian tale of a knight returning from the crusades, it was made in 1980 by star wars art director Roger Christian for 25,000 Pounds and was shot entirely on location in Scotland. The negatives for the film subsequently went missing and were presumed lost forever. But a few years ago they were rediscovered in the Universal Studios archive; it has generated quite a bit of interest among the artsy crowd since.

This 30 minute film has a fascinating history! George Lucas was looking for a short film to accompany screenings of The Empire Strikes Back in theatres in Europe and Australia, and commissioned the fledgeling director’s concept ‘on the spot’, after reading the screenplay. Upon its debut, the film impressed within the cinema world, and John Boorman even screened it as inspiration for the entire crew of Excalibur. However, science fiction was approaching something of a zenith of popularity at the time and fantasy was at a low point, so Lucas didn’t use it. The fantasy caper subsequently drifted into obscurity.


Length: 10 minutes

Los Angeles – 2023. James Striker is on the verge of bringing down the oppressive government that has crushed all freedom in the United States. But before he can take them on, Striker must get past a homicidal drone and an elite squad of EFT soldiers. His only advantage is the SHIFT, a process that allows Striker to transfer his mind into an identical clone body. New body, Same mission: Bring the whole system down.


Length: 11 minutes

Noumena is an exploration of the philosopher Immanuel Kant’s concept of Noumenon. According to Kant, it is vital always to distinguish between the distinct realms of phenomena and noumena. Phenomena are the appearances of an object, which is to say what we sense about it, which constitute the our experience. Noumena are the inferred characteristics of the things themselves, independent of what humans sense, the characteristics of which constitute reality.

The film explores the idea that reality is more than we perceive. Can we learn to sense more than we do now, and what happens when we do? It follows the journey of a prisoner who is taken into a facility and tested, against her will, in dream and temporal experiments, where she discovers an alternate universe and its keeper, The Guardian. Can the subject prevent the experiment from gaining access also?

From Dust Studios

DUST is the first multi-platform destination for binge watchable sci-fi. We feature science fiction short films and other content from emerging filmmakers with stunning visual effects, captivating plots and complex character explorations. Robots, aliens, space exploration, technology, and human experience are all a part of DUST. Explore, subscribe and follow for more.


Length: 21 minutes

Commander Charlie Shaw finds himself alone on the red planet and isolated from his crew. He uncovers some disturbing truths about his situation and the fate of the mission.

A Date in 2025

Length: 13 minutes

In the year 2025, a young man’s superintelligent AI system tells him that he must go on a date or face certain suicide from loneliness.

City of Scars

Length: 30 minutes

A 30 minute fan film made in 2010. It features Batman wearing the ’60s television show costume. IMDB rates it at 7.2 out of 10.

Darth Maul: Apprentice

Length: 18 minutes

Winner of the 2016 Filmmaker Select Award at Star Wars Celebration Europe, Darth Maul: Apprentice is the gritty tale of a loyal Imperial Stormtrooper who is forced to confront his past in the heat of an epic battle. Directors Samtubia & Samgoma Edwards imagined it from a perspective that is seldom explored within the Star Wars universe.

TK-436 — A Storm Trooper Story

Length: 13 minutes

Set around the time of A New Hope, it is the war as seen from a low level grunt’s point of view

Odyssey: A Star Wars Story

Length: 12 minutes

What does it mean to be a soldier? A young member of the Resistance tells us.

Bucketheads: A STAR WARS Story

Length: 14 min
BUCKETHEADS is a Star Wars Fan Film from the Stormtroopers’ perspective. Shot in September 2017 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, it was a wonderful journey, with over 76 people directly involved in this effort to tell a Star Wars Story from the Imperial point of view.

Star Wars: Destroyer – A Star Wars Fan-Film

Length: 7 min

Victory may lead to disaster when X-Wing pilots discover a crippled star destroyer crashing towards a nearby planet.


Length: 15 min

What does it mean to be human?  And what are the implications of augmenting human capability?  Come with us and visit one dystopia to find out!  Here’s a  futuristic thriller with intense martial arts, sword fights, armblades, and flamethrower limbs.

The film follows two soldiers who have destiny thrown upon them when they discover what might be humanities only hope – in a war they have already lost. A NOVR.


Length: 12 min

An award-winning independent micro-budget short work, made with a Macbook Pro, a Canon 5D and $9000. 

In the near future, robotic limbs have become more powerful and versatile than the human body, granting their users incredible new powers. A new law is passed regulating the use of the dangerous technology, causing a leading prosthetics distributor to recall its products. An employee and a police officer go door-to-door collecting the bionic limbs, but not everyone will hand over their arms willingly.

Exit Plan

Length: 21 min

In this character-driven, dystopian film, machines became the sole workforce for the industry.  The lower classes were deemed surplus to requirements, banished from the utopian cities, and left to starve. The story focuses on Adam, a man trapped in the slums of this dark future.  As the rebels plot against the elite known as The Order, Adam is stuck in the middle accompanied by his only companion, a robotic helper called iO.  This is the story of Adam’s struggle to find a way off the planet after he discovered that the Earth will soon be destroyed by a cosmic natural disaster.


Length: 12 min

In this award-winning animated short with no dialog, the lone survivor of a destroyed space station meets his enemy in the void.  The plot is simple and shows the struggle of the hero, alone in space, in a reality where artificial intelligence took control of the World.

EMPSILLNESS is the work of one man and took over four years to make and is a remarkable achievement. Its look and narrative are clearly influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey, Sunshine, Interstellar and Gravity.  The moment the short begins, it becomes clear why it has won awards and accolades. Grygier combines CGI and 3D animation to glorious effect.  Its images invoke the beauty and grandeur of our solar system.

The Jump

Length: 10 minutes

The film was produced for the NASA short film competition CineSpace, where filmmakers are asked to make a short film, of 10 mins or less duration, that contains at least 10% footage from the NASA Archives, using actual NASA imagery within the film. We used a broad selection of NASA archive footage mixed with new material shot by the production team.

An astronaut braves a pioneering solo mission into deep space, leaving behind her loving husband. Through disjointed communications, she discovers her life on Earth has changed forever. ‘The Jump’ is a short sci-fi drama on the elasticity of time, love and loss.

The Place Where You Live

Length: 14 min

In this award-winning short, a professor of physics is abducted by her counterpart from an alternate dimension – one in which her husband has died. Replaced by her doppelganger, she struggles to rebuild the machine, reopen the gateway between worlds, and regain the life that should be hers.

Accepted to 18 film festivals worldwide, “The Place Where You Live” has won “Best Science Fiction Short” at the Big Easy Film Festival, “Best Female Lead” at the Concarolinas Film Festival, “Special Jury Prize (Remi)” at the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival, and Special Achievement awards in Editing, Production Design, and VFX at the Wild Rose Independent Film Festival.

The Sith Relic

Length: 14 min

Review by  “This short film from Scruffy Looking Workshop was posted in Jan of 2018 and is just under 15 mins. It has a solid story, nice costuming and decent acting. It’s not just your typical lightsaber duel. If different is what you want, then you’re definitely going to get it with this one. There are some… uh… interesting little pieces in this one that you won’t see in other fan films.”

Federation Files ep. 0: Extraction (vignette)

Length: 14 min

The USS Nikita is ordered to the last location of one of their Starfleet undercover agents on a barren planet. A secret and rushed mission is strategically planned with the use of a shuttlecraft and MACO team to carry out the mission.

Federation Files ep 1: His Name is Mudd

Length: 48 min

Harcourt “Harry” Fenton Mudd joins the star ship U.S.S. Constitution and its crew with Captain Charles McCain. In typical Mudd fashion, nothing goes smoothly on this mission to rescue Mudd’s son and friend who have been hijacked by a race who are not in the current Starfleet data base.

Federation Files ep 2: Walking Bear, Running Wolf

Length: 29 min

Lieutenant Dawson Walking Bear, who was first featured in Star Trek, The Animated Series, is featured in this episode where he begins to see visions of a wolf roaming the USS Enterprise corridors. Dr. McCoy has no explanation medically for Walking Bear’s hallucinations but says there may be a correlation between his and his mother’s 30th birthday who was lost on a deep space scouting mission. The suspense heightens when Walking Bear is confronted by the unexplained on his next away mission. Another ‘come to life’ character from the animated series, the cat-like alien, M’Ress.

Federation Files ep 3: Galaxy Hopper

Length: 15 min

The USS Lexington is on a mapping mission just outside the Galactic Rim when they discover a floating, unidentifiable metallic object of unknown origin. Beaming it aboard disables power to the ships engines and the crew tries frantically to get the engines operational before they drift into the rim. A science team is trying to learn more about the ‘Droid’, it’s origin and any data it may hold. The clock is ticking for the Lexington as it drifts dangerously close to the Galactic Rim. Will they survive in time and will this unknown ‘droid’ play an important part in their ultimate fate?

Federation Files ep 4: The Equinox Effect

Length: 26 min

In this Star Trek series mashup, Data must use the Guardian to correct the timeline before the Federation is lost and the Borg take over.

The film pulls from the original Star Trek series, Star Trek: the Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager. The script was originally written by Camren T. Burton for a proposed Star Trek television pilot series starring John Savage as captain Rudy Ransom (who appeared in the Star Trek Voyager episode, “Equinox”). The new series was to also include Gary Lockwood from the original Star Trek second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. The series never went beyond the pilot, but the shelved-footage caught the attention of Glen L. Wolfe who acquired the rights and re-wrote the story that is featured in this production.
For those Star Trek fans who love hidden Easter Eggs, play close attention and you’ll discover them throughout the video, including some screen time from one animated Star Trek character.

Federation Files ep 5: Voices from the Past – Parts 1 and 2 A

Length: 39 min

How do we really know if we are living an unaltered timeline? What are the affects if a time traveler changes or alters that timeline? Nothing, unless you own S.T.A.R. Private Investigations and you believe the government is covering up tons of information about UFO’s, alien abductions, close encounters and a host of other taboo conspiracies.

Allen Brown and Karen Oakley stumbled onto some recent de-classified government information that could potentially expose a cover-up proving that the US government is concealing evidence of an intelligent race of beings who have traveled through time visited earth. For what reason? Brown and Oakley are determined to find out. In this Star Trek episode, from The Federation Files, we feature many Star Trek episodes that have use d time travel as the theme of their story. Voices From The Past takes a look at many of those time-traveling story elements, craftily weaving them into this episode and asking what would happen if an investigative team came close to finding out the truth.

This is a fun episode filled with many Easter Eggs. See how many you can spot from Star Trek, The Original Series, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation and Enterprise.

Federation Files ep 6: The Green Manifesto

Length: 6 min

STRAIGHT OUT OF THE HEADLINES!!! Episode 6 of The Federation Files, “The Green Manifesto” explores Colonel Phillip Green from the original series Star Trek episode, “The Savage Curtain”. “The Green Manifesto” is a vignette prequal probing the problem of a worldwide virus, its effects and how one person could potentially have ultimate control over the entire population of the world.

Federation Files ep 7: Friends and Foes

Length: 17 min

During the formative years of the Federation, potential members debate the benefits of joining a galactic alliance. Find out how a marooned Starfleet officer’s plight changed the direction of one race’s future with the United Federation of Planets in the Federation Files, “Friends and Foes”.