Why short film?

Film critic David Thomson is already saying that awards for short films, documentary and all, should be removed from the main night to make the event crisper.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives the most publicized and recognized awards for short films does not seem to distinguish between short films made in the U. S. and those made in “foreign” countries.

There seems to be more recognition for short films in Europe and Asia than in the U.S.

BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts opens its short films awards contest only to shorts made in the U. K. We assume there are enough shorts made there and plenty to interest to sustain such a competition.

There isn’t yet a single extensive treatment of what a short film is; how the form of short film persists and how it is set to flourish in the age of digital film making and distribution.

We want to pursue over the next few months these and related questions on short films. Students at Arcadia University will join us in their semester-long study of the topic.

4 Replies to “Why short film?”

  1. Briefly, I believe that short film in the US is viewed as a “foreign” format; not really something produced here, but instead, a way of becoming “cultured” by including other nation’s works alongside American feature films. I think that the mindset that is used to approach short films and the restrictions placed on filmmakers (such as joining various unions, finding crews, etc.) strongly discourages the creation of these films.

  2. I must admiit that I have not given short film much thought until now. Certainly, no thought of the restrictions placed on filmmakers as Jolynne suggests.

    I am a fan of short stories so I guess this is a natural leap. I plan to explore, through the blog and others, the richness I seem to see in this genre.

  3. Short film is and will continue to be an integral part of the film industry, regardless of how they are recognized or awarded by BAFTA or the Acadamy.

    Short films are how many directors, actors and other artists in the industry find their start or branch out in different genres. Many short films have either been expanded into feature films or have inspired them in one way or another.

    Also, through the propagation of online video, as well as the decreasing costs of digital filmmaking, short films are finding new audiences every day, and consequently, more filmmakers are contributing their art to the growing market.

  4. In India the government defines a short film as cinema which is less than 70 minutes! The idea of short film is also linked strongly with some kind of a non-fictional exercise like documentaries of public service announcement campaigns. And finally short films are also seen as a non-commercial activity. So if you put all this together, the idea of a short film production is certainly not a ‘productive’ idea.
    In countries like India the idea of short films/ documentaries has been further tarnished due to the virtual monopoly exercised by the government in its production & exhibition. Only after the coming of National Television in the early 80s and its insatiable demand for software did the idea of short film-making became a serious area of interest among large numbers of aspiring filmmakers. So it required one governmental agency to teach another. And them came the large number of private players on satellite television. We have over 120 of them criss-crossing over our skies.
    They simply crushed the monopoly of the state owned television but sadly the world of short films did not see any light! A short filmmaker today is able to sell his or her material only if it deals with something sensational. In India today every channel is only about ‘breaking news’! For Creation we have to look forward to the arrival of the next ‘Avatar’!

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