This month, we’re proud to present eight of the best short films we’ve ever seen (ever!) in the Screening Room, our destination for top films from the film festival circuit.

While we often program the Screening Room around specific themes (perhaps horror flicks or graphic novel adaptations ring a bell?), this month’s sponsor, Canon's VIXIA, had just one request for us: skip the theme and bring people some of the finest films out there.

So, without further ado, here are the first four….

“Madame Tutli-Putli” is a stunning stop-motion animated film that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007. The animation took over five years to complete and featured a groundbreaking technique that included adding composited human eyes to stop-motion puppets.

"The Mozart of Pickpockets," from France, was not only nominated for an Academy Award, but actually won the honor in 2007. It tells the story of two hapless Parisian pickpockets who finally hit their stride when they take a young immigrant boy under their wings.

Directed by New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (whose feature film “Eagle vs. Shark” was snapped up by Miramax Films at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival), "Two Cars, One Night" is another Academy Award nominee.  It tells the darling story of young love born out of rivalry in a parking lot outside a rural pub. Waititi's latest film, "Boy," was just selected for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Lastly, "Doxology," a stop-motion animated short featuring a dancing Oldsmobile, a boozy encounter with God, and lots of teeth brushing, hair combing and flossing, won the Slamdance Film Festival in 2008 and was nominated for a Student Academy Award.

We’ll feature another four stand-out shorts starting December 15, so save room for more.

Dim the lights,

Sara Pollack, Entertainment Marketing Manager, recently watched “Pilgrims”