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Short Films with Big Impact

By Amanda Sides on Jul 10, 2017

Every now and then, I watch a movie that leaves me feeling like my heart is in my stomach. It's incredible, the stories that can be told in just a couple of hours.

What's even more incredible to me are the stories that can be told in just a few minutes. There are a lot of wonderful short films out there that never get seen, because most people just aren't tuned in to that world of filmmaking. Even the ones that get some attention (like the Oscar nominees for best animated or live action short film) are often ignored by the general population, maybe because they don't seem as readily available and easy to watch--there's generally no screening time for them at our local theatres.

But those short films that get international attention aren't the only good ones. Many aspiring and established filmmakers alike create short works of art that are available on YouTube or Vimeo. Of course, finding them can be a trick, because a lot of filmmakers make less-than-stellar short films, too, so it's much easier when someone can simply recommend the best ones to you.

Of course, I can't say these are the best ever, particularly because despite my affection for the short film, I don't often spend much time seeking out new ones, either; however, these did manage to make an impact on me in as little as a couple of minutes. (Big thanks to my film-loving friends, who helped me compile this little list!)

Each one affected me in a different way, for a different reason, but I would say they're all worth a watch when you have some time. If nothing else, they're each a great reminder that there are a variety of ways to make an impact, to send a message, and it doesn't necessarily take a great amount of time.

Who Wants to Be An Amerikan? (10 minutes)

What is most important in your life?

The Confession (25 minutes)

The burden on this child took my breath away.

Spin (8 minutes)

An interesting look at the butterfly effect.

Blinky (13 minutes)

Do you want a robot helper buddy in your home?

The Realest Real (7 minutes)

A commentary on social media.

Lights Out (3 minutes)

Scary movie! (Three minutes and I almost had to turn it off. I'm not good with scary movies, even when I'm pretty sure I know what's coming.)

Change for a Dollar (10 minutes)

It doesn't require a lot of resources to make a difference.

The Butterfly Circus (22 minutes)

Overcoming challenges and changing the world for someone else.

If you're really short on short-film-watching time, I've got to recommend 5 Second Films. Tiny five-second movies, some better than others, of course, but the winners will make you laugh or gasp in just five seconds. And for the ones that don't, well, they only take five seconds out of your day. 

What are your favorite short films? Which films (of any length) have had the biggest impact on you?




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