These short films have gone viral over the past few years and have captured the attention of many people around the world. One of the main reasons that they have had such a hype surrounding them is because they tackle issues that are hard hitting to the public.
3 – Break Free (Ruby Rose, 2014)
Break Free went viral across social media in 2015 due to the heavy publicity that Ruby Rose received from entering the cast of Orange Is The New Black. The film was directed by Ruby Rose herself and uploaded to YouTube on 14th July 2014. The short film focuses primarily on gender roles and the idea of gender fluidity. The film raises awareness of what life can be like when you are different than social norms (e.g. bigender and transgender). In the film we see Ruby Rose transform herself from a woman into a man through clothing and behavioral stereotypes. No wonder people claimed that she made the question their sexuality. – The film has now reached over 15 million views on YouTube.
2 – ReMoved (Nathanial Matanick, 2014)
ReMoved was released on YouTube on the 11th March 2014 and although it only has just over 4 million views the issues expressed in the narrative are certainly hard hitting and tear inducing. ReMoved follows the life of a young girl and her brother as they are taken from a violent and unstable home to live life between foster homes until they find a foster parent who won’t give up on them or abuse them. The narrative follows on in part 2 where we see that the young girl as a grown woman who has broken the cycle of abuse to become a child care practitioner. The second part has just under 900,000 views which is a shame as it tackles the stories of victims of child abuse and expresses true to life thoughts and feelings of a victim of this kind of abuse.
“Sometimes someone hurts you so bad; it stops hurting at all. Until something makes you feel again. Then it all comes back. Every word. Every hurt. Every moment.” – Zoe
1 – Love Is All You Need (Kim Rocco Shields, 2012)
Love Is All You Need went viral because it exposed hard-hitting experiences of homophobic abuse only reversed to show what it would be like if heterophobia was in place of it. It effectively changes the ideologies of people who have homophobic values as they get to see that the bullying they inflict can cause suicide. The film was uploaded to YouTube on 16th August 2012 and has just over 3.5 million views. Controversy was brought around this film in 2015 as a teacher in the US reportedly lost her job for showing this film to her students as a method of tackling homophobia.
Short films conventionally tackle issues (e.g. abuse etc.) that larger, Hollywood films would usually avoid for purposes of attracting a universal audience. These short films have certainly used this convention to impact the audience emotionally and are effective in raising awareness of the social taboos their stories cover.