Shortcut | Small Stories, Big Issues


Shortcut is a European Film Project centred on Citizenship Education through film to be delivered in the classroom. The four partner countries involved have a combined wealth of experience in working with young people and film education. Our aim is to increase young viewers’ knowledge of issues through European film works from different, sometimes distant countries and strengthen teachers’ skills in educating through and about film.


‘Shortcut – Small Stories, Big Issues’ is a film education project focused on European short films. The project was developed by four European organisations from Poland, Northern Ireland, Czech Republic and Portugal with the support of the European Union Creative Europe Media Programme.

The films have been selected thematically to strengthen the competences today’s youth are faced with in their modern world. The library of curated European short films and animations explore citizenship and personal development themes. The support material for teachers can be found once you registered. You will access a film educational toolkit which includes access to a short film, lesson plans and worksheets.

The activities are financed by the European Union program, "Creative Europe MEDIA", and from the funds received from NIW-CRSO under the Civic Organization Development Program for the years 2018-2030 PROO.

Shortcut Film Residencies

The film residencies are an important aspect of the Shortcut Project. In Northern Ireland we worked with three schools to produce five short films exploring topics inspired by our Shortcut project and films. This opportunity give the students at KS3 in Year 10 the chance to have a voice using film to highlight important issues in their lives.

The residency programme included film workshops and a film production.

Belfast Boys Model
The film “Shadowchild” was created and produce with three classes over several moths under the supervision of teacher Stephanie Carson, Nerves' Screen Academies manager Jennifer McAlorum and filmmaker Sharron Currie. The short film explores the topic of homophobia and acceptance. It was important to the pupils the film addressed the theme of mental health, how it is ok to talk and seek help when needed.

Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School
This film residency began as we all went into Covid 19 lockdown. This impact on all our lives became the topic of focus for our films - Isolation creation. With these restrictions and constraints on production each film idea developed into an animation. Sharron Currie guided the pupils through online learning to produce the three animations. Each explore the different impact felt and emotions experienced during this time through the techniques of pixelation and hand drawn animation.

Bangor Academy
Life goes in a Jiffy” was created and produce under the supervision of Nerves' Screen Academies manager Jennifer McAlorum and filmmaker Sharron Currie. The film is a humorous account of phone addiction, the impact this can have on our lives with missing out on the world around us if we constantly have our head in our phones.

Our Polish Partners - CEO

Three schools participated in Polish film residencies: Economic School Complex (Mińsk Mazowiecki), Primary School in Łubniany and the Technical College No. 4 from Bytom. The residency program included: film workshops and film production.

The first production - "No one goes there" was created in Łubniany under the supervision of Konrad Śniady, film editor and teacher Jolanta Koj, phd. It took up the topic of new media and the Internet, it is also the only feature fiction in our set.

The only film made before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was Bytom's "Emotify", an animation that also deals with Internet addiction. The residency was run by Natalia Spychała, animation director and educator, and the pedagogical supervision was provided by Joanna Klimczak, phd.

The document genre represents "Usually unusual", which is a record of the beginnings of the epidemic. Teresa Czepiec, the director of "Superunit", supported the Polish language teacher - Joanna Dębowska-Kępczyk, worked with the Minsk youth.

Our Czech Partners - JSNS/OWIS – One World in Schools

We supported young people’s interest in film with a series of workshops for student teams who, with the help of professional filmmakers, created two original films and three collective films. We successfully organised two joint, in-person team meetings whilst film professionals held workshops at two schools. The remaining workshops and consultations took place online where students were tasked with creating collective films with two underlying themes. The first film was made in the spring and the theme was a diary entry of life during lockdown. The second two films were created from footage of environmental challenges.

Secondary Technical School of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Dobruška

Overcoming barriers
The students of Grammar school Na Zatlance, Prague,chose the physical barrier of their own school as the theme of the film. Through interviews with former students with disabilities, they help the school help the school find its way to accessibility.

Through the eyes of time
In a conversation between two representatives of different generations, a comparison of general life phenomena, which change over time, is made through a discussion of individual experiences.

Collective films were mady by students from all the five teams that started the school year programme (Grammar school Česká, České Budějovice, Secondary School of Arts and Crafts, Brno, Grammar school Na Zatlance, Prague, Secondary Technical School of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Dobruška).

Album of people - or three quarantined diaries
The film was created from authentic video diaries shot during the spring lockdown on 13-19 April 2020.

Try it
Collective environmental spot - the footage was shot during the autumn emergency from September 29 to October 5, 2020.

Environmental challenge
Collective environmental short film - the footage was shot during the autumn emergency from September 29 to October 5, 2020.

Our Portuguese Partners - OFDL

Coming March 2021


This project is implemented by four European organizations with the support of the European Union program, "Creative Europe MEDIA".

Themes & Topics

Shortcut offer a catalog of European short films on the vod platform available to all registered educational institutions and studnets. The films have been selected to combine film education with an engaging thematic framework on topics addressing the problems and dilemmas that young people face on an everyday basis in modern Europe.