Short films: Big impact

The 'Short films, Big impact’ project was funded between February and July 2014 under the ESRC’s Impact Accelerator Account pilot phase.


Through a series of short films this project gathered stories from a number of Manchester research groups who are demonstrating social impact. Employing ethnographic and documentary filmmaking techniques, the aim of the project was to move beyond the ‘academic talking head’ to breathe life into research, and reach out to new audiences.

Working with professional filmmakers we commissioned eight 3-4 minute multi-perspective short films; researchers communicated their findings, charities described how research informs policy and practice; and ordinary people recounted their stories.

The films were all released on The University of Manchester’s YouTube channel in July 2014.


The films - covering themes of social inequality, education and unemployment within our local labour market - openly showcase research with the third sector involving Save the Children, Barnardo’s and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as well as award winning work with the local labour market through The University of Manchester’s Human Resources ‘The Works’ project.

Project website


  • Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA)

Grant amount


Manchester people

  • Jackie Carter
  • Mark Littler