In this article, we will talk about the correlation between cinema and short films. We will try to understand the place of this type of art among contemporary forms of media expression.

What is the place?

First of all, let’s define a short film. The first thing that comes to mind is its length. After all, it does not reach the duration of a feature. Usually, the short film is limited to 30-35 minutes. Some film festivals consider 45 minutes as the upper limit. However, it would be a simplification to associate with its duration.

Very often, such movies simulate a scene or an accident. At the same time, a feature film pretends to be a story about a protagonist. The format of a feature film allows to reveal the character and show it in dynamics. This assumption can lead to the conclusion that the short film is a stepping-stone on the way to the big cinema.

There is another, more radical opinion. Its supporters believe that we cannot divide films into feature-length and short films. Any movie, whether full-length or short, is an artistic expression. The determining factor here is the creative characteristics, but not the duration.

Backstage of the short film “Happily Ever After” by Arambhik Ghosh (India)

Present and Past

Of course, the short film is a cinematic work of art. It should note, that any form of media expression can be an object of study in film theory. We’re referring to videos on TikTok, YouTube, and so on. Thus, in the second decade of the 21st century, the difference between full-length movies and short films became less substantial. In the second half of the 20th century, cinema meant film shot on tape and accessed in movie theaters. The Internet and digital technologies put an end to the dominance of this view of what is cinema and what is not.

There is an opinion that cinema died with the rise of full-length cinema. When features replaced the bourgeois novel in the 1920s. Thus cinema turned into a big narrative. And this marked the end of cinema. Today, the short film, together with the new media spots, remains an outpost of freedom and experimentation.

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