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Why Short Films


  • Authenticity: film is one of the closest mediums to a real life.

  • Brevity and manageability: a short film can be screened in its entirety easily within one lesson.

  • Accessibility: film is an inclusive medium, accessible to students of diverse learning styles, experiences and needs.

  • Unique qualities: Short films, like short stories, are not governed by the same conventions as their longer counterparts and can provoke stronger responses.

  • Stimulating:  films can generate a range of talking, conversational and dramatic activity, stimulating an active engagement with language. 

  • Cultural immersion: Film offers a holistic picture of a language culture, rather than just the abstracted spoken or written words alone.

  • Authentic language use: Films can help children listen for gist and detail, and show them gesture and facial expressions that support speech. 

  • Writing in a target language can be supported by creative and interactive approaches to film. 

  • Relevance: films encourage learners to engage with challenging issues and contexts in ways that develop passion, commitment and enthusiasm for language learning. 



BFI has produced a number of compilations of short films to support language and literacy learning:



  • Cineminis; Short French Films for Language Learning and Literacy (that this DVD includes many films with resources on this site).

  • Story Shorts 2 - Short films for the Primary classroom. Age 7+

  • Real Shorts - Short documentary & non-fiction films for Year 7+

  • Moving Shorts - Short films for English and Media Studies


Follow the links above for more information on the compilations, and to get copies.


Muriel Huet teaching a lesson based on Quais de Seine.

BFI has been promoting the value of short films for supporting literacy and language learning for many years.  Teachers and learners have found a range of reasons why short films contribute to powerful learning experiences:

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