A. O. Scott has an account of the animated and live action shorts that have been nominated for the Oscars this year. These shorts are now running in theaters in the U. S.
While we ponder what is short film, here are his thoughts:
Their wider availability makes sense in an era that might well turn out to be a golden age of short-form moviemaking. The newer platforms favor brevity, and there is plenty of room for real cinema amid the comedy sketches and cute-baby shenanigans that go viral in office cubicles across the land.
Short films are often the work of younger filmmakers and sometimes contain the seeds of larger projects. But however modest its means or small its scale, a 10- or 15-minute movie requires as much craft and discipline as a feature. Maybe more. A short story can display infelicities of prose less forgivingly than a novel, and there is less room for error in a handful of shots and scenes.