Short films that sparked conversation and change


Short films have long been a powerful medium for storytelling, allowing filmmakers to convey impactful messages in a condensed format. Over the years, several short films have not only captured audiences with their compelling film narratives and cinematic brilliance but have also sparked important conversations and instigated positive change. In this article, we will explore some notable examples of short films that have left a lasting impact on society by addressing pressing issues and inspiring meaningful dialogue.





  • Dinner for One (1963):Dinner for One“, also known as “The 90th Birthday,” is a two-person comedy sketch originally written by Lauri Wylie for the theatre. The German TV broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) recorded the sketch in 1962, featuring British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden. Heinz Piper introduces the story of Miss Sophie celebrating her 90th birthday in this film. It has become a tradition to watch the film on New Year’s Eve in European countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. Despite the film’s British origin, it gained recognition in the UK in recent years and was broadcast on Sky Arts from 2018 to 2020.




  • Carne (1991):Carne” is a 1991 French drama short film, written and directed by Gaspar Noé. Starring Philippe Nahon and Blandine Lenoir, the film revolves around a horse butcher and his mute daughter. Gaspar creates filmsthat, while not easily digestible, prompt film viewers to question and challenge themselves. Although his films may not be conventionally attractive, they captivate film audiences, leaving them intrigued and compelled to ponder the reasons behind their discomfort.




  • The Girl Effect (2008): Created by the Nike Foundation, “The Girl Effect” is an animated short film that highlights the transformative power of investing in girls and young women. The film emphasizes the positive ripple effect that occurs when girls are educated and empowered. By shedding light on the challenges faced by young girls in developing countries, “The Girl Effect” advocates for the importance of education and gender equality in breaking the cycle of poverty. This film had the potential to strike criticism amongst the masses, mostly from women in the developing world.






  • Period. End of Sentence (2018): Directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, this Academy Award-winning short documentary film addresses the stigma surrounding menstruation in rural India. The film follows a group of women who work to produce and distribute low-cost sanitary pads in their community. “Period. End of Sentence.” not only raises awareness about menstrual hygiene but also contributes to the broader conversation about gender equality and the importance of breaking down taboos surrounding women’s health.


Short films have the ability to capture attention, convey powerful messages, and spark conversations that lead to positive change and develop controversies. The examples mentioned above represent just a fraction of the impactful short filmsthat have contributed to social discourse. As the medium continues to evolve, short films remain a valuable tool for filmmakers to address pressing issues, challenge societal norms, and inspire film audiences to reflect on their own perspectives and behaviours.