FILMS FOR ACTION

The Top 100 Short Films We Can Use to Change the World

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By Films For Action / filmsforaction.org
Oct 17, 2018
The Top 100 Short Films We Can Use to Change the World

There are over 4,500 videos on Films For Action, from short videos to feature-length documentaries, all created to inspire action and raise awareness of just about every topic related to making the world a better place. You've probably already seen our top 100 documentaries feature. Here are our top 100 favorite short films.

What are your favorites? Let us know, as we'd love to keep improving this list over time with your suggestions.

 

Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Capitalism Is Just a Story - Rise Up and Create a New One
6 min · How many of us have a sneaking suspicion that something pretty fundamental is going wrong in the world? We keep hearing about the potentially devastating consequences of...
The Story of Stuff
21 min · From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff...
The Economics of Happiness (Abridged Version)
19 min · This is a shortened version of the award-winning feature-length documentary film, The Economics of Happiness. Cut down from 68 minutes to less than 20, it provides an...
"Black" and "White" Were Labels Invented in the 15th Century - Made Up to Divide Us
4 min · Human Beings Were NOT Meant to Be Labeled! - Prince Ea Want to watch more on this topic? Watch Plutocracy (2015) to see how race has been used to divide us economically. Watch...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
ENOUGHNESS: Restoring Balance to the Economy in the Most Awesome Way Ever
5 min · How we see the world determines how we act. Western thought sees us at war with each other over resources. In Indigenous philosophy, we are all related as individuals in...
John Perkins Explains How Economic Hitmen Rob The World In Service of Corporate Profit
2 min · In two minutes, John Perkins explains how the globalized economy works today. It's pretty important that people understand what's driving the economic cancer that has now taken...
The Most Astounding Fact about the Universe
3 min · This is Neil Degrasse Tyson's response when asked to describe the most astounding fact about the universe. Background music is the cinematic orchestra - To build a home.
Incredible Animation Summarises Noam Chomsky's 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine
5 min · For decades, Noam Chomsky has been the agent provocateur when it comes to critiquing the US mainstream media. He co-authored ‘Manufacturing Consent’, a seminal work on...
What Is Addiction? - Gabor Maté
3 min · Dr. Gabor Maté talks about the root causes of addiction and how to deal with them.
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
He Didn't Always Speak. But when He Did, He Gave the Greatest Speech of All Time.
4 min · One of the most inspirational speeches in recorded history was given by a comedian by the name of Charlie Chaplin in the movie "The Great Dictator". If you like what you see...
This Painting Captures a Disturbing Truth about the History of Our Education System
2 min · The truth is chilling. But it is a history we should never forget. This is a clip from the feature documentary "Schooling the World." Thanks to the generosity of the...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka
Carl Sagan - Who Speaks for Earth?
7 min · "We have heard the rationales offered by the super powers. We know who speaks for the nations. But who speaks for the human species, who speaks for Earth?" - Carl Sagan​
This Is What Every Young Girl Can Expect to be Bombarded with for a Lifetime, Condensed Into 1 Min
1 min · Parents, friends, and teachers alike - talk to girls before the beauty industry does. A powerful and concise message that communicates the destructive effect the ad and beauty...
Wake Up Call: End the Nightmare of Consumption
6 min · Hidden beneath sleek, space-age screens and shining metal, the true cost of our gadgets lurks unseen… Have you ever felt like we're living through a nightmare of consumption?...
Gabor Mate on the Myth of Normal
4 min · Physician Dr. Gabor Mate began his interview by addressing the 'myth of normal' that divides us into the normal and the abnormal with pathological traits. Dr. Mate mentions...
The Most Mind-Altering Photograph of All Time
4 min · Carl Sagan narrates the story of the Pale Blue Dot, the one place we all call home. 
The Story of Change
7 min · Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and...
Alan Watts: What If Money Was No Object?
3 min · How do you like to spend your life? What do you desire? What if money didn't matter? What if money was no object? What would you like to do if money were no object? Spoken...
A New Story of the People
8 min · The old story of our culture is losing its meaning for more and more people. Perhaps almost everyone can feel it these days. But a new story is emerging too - one that...
We Are Built To Be Kind
4 min · Greed is good. War is inevitable. Whether in political theory or popular culture, human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher...
In 10 Minutes This Clip Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix May Change How You See the World Forever
10 min · “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with...
Charles Eisenstein: The Two Great Stories That Give Meaning to Our Lives
6 min · What matters in life? Who are we? Every culture has answers to these questions. And the way we answer them has profound effects on the health of people and planet. This is a...
Jacque Fresco - A Story of Change
13 min · "Every action and decision we take - or don't - ripples into the future. For the first time we have the capability, the technology, and the knowledge to direct these ripples."
Morgan Freeman Narrates the Greatest Story of Our Generation
6 min · This 6 minute short film tells the story of the human journey at this critical moment in time. Of all the stories to belong to, this is the story to be a part of. Don't...
The Story of Solutions: Why Making Real Change Starts with Changing the Game
9 min · The Story of Solutions explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal. In the current 'Game...
The Revolution Is Love! Our Movement is for the 100%
4 min · "Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you...
This Short Film is a Blazing Declaration for Inner & Global Revolution
5 min · This is truly a declaration for our times. Its message could shake the world. Please watch, share and RISE! Written by Eve Ensler, performed by 
The High Price of Materialism
5 min · Psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good...
Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein
12 min · Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and...
The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
3 min · What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Happiness
5 min · The story of a rodent's unrelenting quest for happiness and fulfillment.
Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong
6 min · What causes addiction? Easy, right? Drugs cause addiction. But maybe it is not that simple. This video is adapted from Johann Hari's New York Times best-selling book 'Chasing...
US Soldier: "The Real Terrorist Was Me And The Real Terrorism Is This Occupation"
4 min · A powerful confession by US soldier Mike Prysner on his experience fighting in Iraq. "Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t...
Watch a Giant Suction Tube Gobble Up The Earth In This Brilliant Video about Our Economy
7 min · Modern production is based on extraction from the planet, and modern finance is based on extraction from the many for the benefit of the very few. What would a new economy look...
The Shocking, True History of Race Baiting, From the 17th Century to the Present Day
11 min · This powerful video by Matthew Cooke pulls together disparate stands to create the story of how the ruling class divides people in order to keep them enslaved. You can support...
The Empathic Civilization (Animated)
11 min · "The Empathic Civilization" is one of the biggest ideas of the 21st century. The arrival of this era will be monumental. Jeremy Rifkin explains.  For the entire speech, check...
The Lie We Live
8 min · Spencer Cathcart raises all the right questions, exposes collective lies and stories we tell ourselves all the while retaining a sense of hope for humanity. This video will...
The Astronauts Who Saw This Were Never the Same Again
19 min · On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing...
This Is The "Living on Earth 101" Primer Every Human Needs To See. And It's Only 52 Seconds.
1 min · This Wombat has some simple instructions for living on Earth. We got this. The Wombat was created by the Foundation for Global Community: globalcommunity.org/
John Pilger: "There Is No War On Terror... There Is A War OF Terror."
3 min · John Pilger speaks frankly about the "War on Terror," saying that no such thing exists. "There is a war OF terror," he says, and it is primarily state-sponsored terror, and...
How The Elite Stay In Power
5 min · In this video we break down in simple terms the only way "those in power" can stay in power. It's not as complex at it may seem. They need us more than we need them.
The 'Sexy Lie' We Should Be Talking About
12 min · "I am here today to talk about a lie." That's how politics professor Caroline Heldman opened her Jan. 2013 TEDxYouth San Diego talk on the topic of sexual objectification. "I'd...
The One Simple Truth about Our Existence That Everyone Needs to Know
3 min · If humanity came to understand this - everything would change. This is a clip from "UnVeiled & Lifted," which was released online for free by the film-makers in 2013. Watch...
Live Rich: A Spoken Word Film about The True Meaning of Wealth
4 min · This consumer madness is consuming us. Follow Buy Nothing Day on Twitter and 
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
It's The Greatest Drama of All Time and You Just Might Be Missing It
6 min · When you're glued to the latest series of a show like Game of Thrones, caught up in the drama, the twists and turns of the plot, you may be missing the most intricate, massive...
Monty Python Explains Occupy Wall St. in 3 Minutes
3 min · A little bit of political satire on systems of government. This just about sums it up doesn't it? :)
How Society Kills Our Creativity – In A Breathtaking Award-Winning Short Film
8 min · If you relate with a sense of having your true self shunned by the society we live in, this one’s for you! And if you have kids on top of that, it will really hit home. Madrid...
An Animated History of Taker Culture in 4 Minutes
4 min · Self-described civilized man, belonging to the culture known as the Takers. What an extraordinary creature. He has walked on the moon and created the worldwide web that...
The Image Hollywood Created of Africa
3 min · After viewing Mama Hope's video, "Alex Presents Commando," Gabriel, Benard, Brian and Derrik (the Kenyan men in this video) told us they wanted to make one that pokes fun at...
The Chain of Obedience
2 min · The death squads and concentration camps of history were never staffed by rebels and dissidents. They were run by those who followed the rules.
Harry Patch: Anti-War Hero
6 min · Harry Patch had no time for, 'Thieving politicians lies'. Poem: Heathcote Williams Narration: Alan Cox Montage: Alan Cox and Margaret Cox
The Real Reason You're Circumcised
4 min · If you're not Jewish, and you're circumcised, you need to watch this video.
When Kids Recite The Pledge of Allegiance in School This Is Basically What They're Saying
2 min · Nationalism in schools - yeah it's gonna sound kind of creepy no matter what country you do it in.
Elder Explains the Origins of the First Nation Seven Teachings
11 min · Manitoba First Nation Elder Dave Courchene explains the origins and lessons of the First Nation Seven Teachings. The lessons of the Bear Spirit (Courage), the Beaver Spirit...
The Purpose of Nonviolent Communication
6 min · Nonviolent communication is a tool that we can use to resolve conflicts at both the individual and collective levels. By focusing on identifying the needs of individuals and...
Imagine The Most Beautiful Future: What Do You See?
5 min · "Trust is the basis on which life heals. There is no deeper vision than the vision of a world in which trust reigns between all beings." The video is inspired by the english...
The Impossible Hamster
1 min · What the impossible hamster has to teach us about economic growth. A new animation from nef (the new economics foundation), scripted by Andrew Simms, numbers crunched by Viki...
The Neurochemistry Of Empathy, Explained With Claymation
2 min · Want to understand the science behind empathy? This quick video explains why and when we care.
This Video Dispels a Great Myth about Human Nature that Will Restore Your Hope in Humanity
10 min · Do you despair for the world? Does it seem like human nature will doom our society to violence and war without end? Take heart! This 10-minute video will give you hope...
Everyone Growing Up In Our Culture Was Taught This Game, But It's Not Making Anyone Happy
15 min · After you watch this, you may never view the way our culture communicates the same way again. This is a clip from The Basics of Nonviolent Communication with Marshall...
The Myth Of Human Nature
2 min · Are we competitive, selfish, individualistic creatures by nature? What is human nature, anyway? "We see the world, not as it is, but as we are, or...as we are conditioned to...
Why Don't People Revolt? (2017)
5 min · “What has to be explained is not the fact that the man who is hungry steals or the man who is exploited strikes, but why the majority of those who are hungry don't steal and...
Arkan Lushwala Shares Indigenous Wisdom: The Earth Is Our Mother
4 min · Arkan Lushwala has allowed himself to be photographed for the first time ever, so that he could make the video you see here. His message is critical for us, human creatures of...
There You Go!
2 min · Around the world ‘development’ is robbing tribal people of their land, self-sufficiency and pride and leaving them with nothing. Watch this short, satirical film, written by...
How to Resist the Pressures of Conformity
10 min · The social psychology of conformity affects us all, but there are ways to maintain our independence, as explained in this animated short.
The Truth About Who We Are That We Just Find So Hard to Accept
4 min · We should probably just accept it. And then embrace it. And then dance!
If You Haven't Seen the New Moby and Steve Cutts Music Video, Watch It Now
3 min · This video is amazing. It's easy to see why certain folks are 'outraged' by it.  Moby says, “working on ‘In This Cold Place’ and ‘Are You Lost In the World Like Me?’ with...
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible - Charles Eisenstein
5 min · "There is a vast territory between what we're trying to leave behind, and where we want to go - and we don't have any maps for that territory." - Charles Eisenstein Filmed in...
Peasants for Plutocracy: How the Billionaires Brainwashed America
20 min · The following video explores the influence billionaires have had through massive public relations campaigns, fake "grass roots" movements like the Tea Party, and funding of...
The Shocking Reason Why the Rich Are Getting Richer Explained Beautifully in 3 Minutes
3 min · 1. The current money system distributes money from the bottom 90% to the top 10% Because 97% of the money in the UK is created by banks, someone must pay interest on...
How Welfare DOES NOT Work The Way You Think It Does
13 min · It is time for us to reconsider who is dependent on welfare. Poverty is not only the lack of income and wealth but also the poverty of power. A key part of the poverty of power...
Why Do Banks Make So Much Money?
3 min · Banks make so much money because they can create money, effectively out of nothing, by lending. Every single pound in your bank account was created by a bank, not by your...
Visualizing a Plenitude Economy: The Secret To Creating Jobs
5 min · This fun animation provides a vision of what a post-consumer society could look like, with people working fewer hours and pursuing re-skilling, homesteading, and small-scale...
How the Rich Keep Us Poor
3 min · Ever wondered how they do it? Guinea, and many other African countries, will never rise out of poverty if this continues to happen... Please watch the video and then sign the...
The System Is Failing. We All Know It. It's Time to Start Talking about What's Next
4 min · Growing inequality, political stalemate, and climate disruption prompt an important insight. When the old ways no longer produce the outcomes we are looking for, something...
How Romanticism Ruined Love
5 min · The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognize that it’s more...
What Does It Take to Start a Worker Co-Op? A Practical Video Guide to Democratizing Our Economy
22 min · A new film asks whether practicing workplace democracy would be easier if our media gave us as many visions of collaboration as they do of competition? As Sarah van Gelder...
Permaculture: A Journey to Freedom
8 min · Permacuture is a new culture that aims for a sustainable way of living, fully integrated with all life kingdoms on earth. This short movie was shoot during a permaculture...
Another Way Of Seeing: We Don't Own the Land. The Land Owns Us.
6 min · Bob Randall, a Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru (Ayer's Rock), explains how the connectedness of every living thing to every other living thing is not just...
If You've Ever Wondered What We're Here For... We Came to Dance!
3 min · We began with rhythm. From the beating of our mother’s heart to the first kick in our mother’s womb.  We were born to move.  ‘We Came To Dance’ combines this rhythm that we all...
This Incredible Animated Short Film Says So Much Without Saying a Word
13 min · Embark on a visionary journey through the fragmented unconscious of the West, and with courage face the Shadow. Through Shadow into Light. “No tree, it is said, can grow to...
What Does Family Mean To You? This Video May Change How You Think about It
4 min · Guruju Sri Vast argues that it's our concept of family that leads to so much conflict and suffering in the world. "By only seeing those inside your house as your family...
Look Up: A Video With One Powerful Message For Us All
5 min · Everyone should watch this at least once. This short video by Gary Turk is a reminder of the effects of social media on our society. By connecting online, we are disconnecting...
A Deep Ecology Meditation to Connect You With Nature
13 min · Stunning imagery combined with words (starting at 1:11) that guide you deep into nature; urging you to imagine you are river, following the water through the land, you are the...
How You Change People
4 min · This is exactly what we all need right now. Here is a great secret of life that you can use to change the hearts and minds of everyone in your world. Speech by Garret John LoPorto
The Most Amazing Guide to Leadership Ever
3 min · Useful advice for starting a dance party or a mass movement to change the world.
Humanity's Greatest Challenges Aren't Technical, They're Human
8 min · Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is incomplete as we commonly know it. Later in his life, Maslow wrote about a stage beyond self-actualization. Nichol Brandford explains how to...
Watch What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
2 min · How to Be There for the People who Need you Most. Read the article here.
Rose Pere: We Believe In The Oneness of Everything That Exists
2 min · At her home just north of Tuai, a small town in the mountains of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere shares some of the beliefs of her...
Jackson Katz: A Paradigm-Shifting Perspective On The Violence That Harms Both Women and Men
19 min · This should really get your brain thinking in entirely new ways. "Our whole cognitive structure is built up" to ignore this... Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist...
This Community Is Transforming a Blighted Neighborhood Into a Vibrant Lab of Possibilities
16 min · The Urban Farming Guys have been busy the last several years, doing amazing work transforming one of the most blighted inner-city zip codes in Kansas City. They're not just...
Wake Up, Freak Out – Then Get a Grip
12 min · It’s much, much later than you think. There's a tipping point ahead. This really isn’t about polar bears any more. At this very moment, the fate of civilization itself hangs in...
The Movement for Localization Is Growing Rapidly, Worldwide
7 min · These international voices from the 2014 Economics of Happiness conference in Bangalore, India, succinctly tell us why globalization is so damaging, why localization is the...


We plan on updating this list over time. Contact us with any videos you think we should add.

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