Short films may certainly be a viable and dynamic medium for the creation of cinematic art but artistic merit unto itself is very rarely the impetus for making a short film. The purpose of the overwhelming majority of short films produced every year around the world is two-fold: a) as a viable way for you to learn about writing, directing and filmmaking with limited resources (witness the fact that film schools the world over are predicated on the making of short films), and b) as a professional calling-card; a micro-showcase of ability with which to convince producers and financiers of your worthiness to make larger, longer cinematic works.
Writing with a purpose
Calling-cards, Webisodes and the Problem with Short-Films
A notable Australian filmmaker once commented to me that any aspiring director needs to be able to generate their own material. More specifically, they should write their own scripts for at least the first five years or more of their career. Calling-cards, Webisodes and the Problem with Short-Films
It’s not difficult to see such an observation as a truism that stems directly from the nature of how most directors emerge (not just in Australia but overseas as well). Short-films, the festival circuit, seed-funding or development investment very often tied to director-producer teams. Or, at the very least, unless the director knows and is friends with a screenwriter they only have themselves to rely on for material until they can afford the luxury of paying for, or being paid to direct, a script written by someone else.
Thus the long established tradition of the director-driven short-film with a purpose.