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SPLENDID SHORT FILM SCREENING: HOW A STORY TOLD IN 5 MINUTES CAN HAVE A LIFELONG IMPACT

We recently held a Short Film Screening at Splendid and, although Zoom screen sharing cannot beat the sofa of an indie cinema, the night was an enormous success. Having produced four short films myself, I was eager to demonstrate that a 5-minute film can pack the emotional impact to rival a 2-hour Hollywood movie.

We started with ‘Hair Love’, an Oscar®-winning short film by Sony Pictures Animation, in which story and animation style are equally beautiful. It features a father learning to style his daughter’s natural hair, a topic not often discussed in mainstream media. With 57 million views on YouTube to date, there is no doubt that the film resonates with a huge audience.

Next was the topic of Climate Change with ‘MAN vs EARTH’, a short written and performed by Prince Ea. A combination of emotive background music and a passionate, powerful monologue left us with renewed urgency to make significant changes for the sake of our planet.

One of my own productions ‘My Time’ then followed. Written and directed by Giulia Gandini, this was a joy to be involved with. I was drawn to the project by a script that dealt brilliantly with the stress of experiencing menstruation for the first time. The topic should not be taboo but unfortunately many still feel uncomfortable discussing it. After the film ended, colleagues jumped in to relate their own experiences and I was delighted that the film sparked such a connection! For me this emphasised how media like this can instigate important conversations and reduce the stigma surrounding certain topics.

The fourth film was another by Giulia Gandini alongside Lily Blackham. ‘HOME STREAM – Lily’s Story’ was a powerful insight into Lily’s life, having been homeless for a year and a half at the time of filming. Shot from Lily’s perspective using an iPhone, we were given a direct view into her everyday life on the streets. The film’s emotional journey challenged stereotypes of those living on the street and led to a Q&A about what we can all do to help.

‘In a Heartbeat’, an animated short by Beth David and Esteban Bravo, was a film I saw when first released and found to be incredibly heart-warming. However, the film is also an excellent example of how a story can be told without the use of dialogue. At Splendid we know that the visual impact can be everything.

Finally, to end on a lighter note, I played ‘a-ha – Take On Me’ a music video that is both conceptually creative and an undeniable crowd pleaser!

I believe that short films like this still need to be more widely seen. When a film of under ten minutes can inspire creativity, force us to consider how we can make changes to our planet or within our community, or help break societal taboos, then we should be actively sharing these shorts in the same way we share other online content.

Abby Mizon