Short films have always been the training ground for young directors who are starting their film career. Some of them will arrive a few years later to create one of those unmissable masterpieces that have marked the history of films. Conventionally, all films that last less than 40 minutes are considered short films, according to the Academy who awards the Oscar.
Directors almost always start by producing their own short films alone or with a small funding from relatives, friends or associations. Even Martin Scorsese,for example, started autoproducendo short film The Big Shave,which brought him to the attention of some manufacturers to make his first feature film.
David Lynch has a very long production of extraordinary shorts both at the beginning of his career and afterwards. For David Lynch, who is a director who loves to experiment from painting to TV series to video clips, short film is one of his favorite forms of expression.
There history of cinema was born with short films. Thomas Edison He was one of the first to propose them with the individual vision model of the kinethoscope. Following the invention of the Cinematograph by the Lumière brothers, all films screened in public in collective mode were short films. They also lasted less than a minute.
The duration limit of the film reels was in fact a few minutes. Making feature films was a complicated and expensive business, difficult to achieve with the post-production technologies of that era.
Many of the short films shot by the operators that the Lumière brothers sent all over the world were short travel documentaries, formed from a single take, without any editing.
Many production companies in the silent era produced only short films. The film show was in fact conceived as a package that included a main film and a short film, which was usually shown before the feature film.
Famous Short Films
Charlie Chaplin started his career exclusively making The Famous Comic Shorts featuring the character of Charlot. The comic short was one of the most famous and popular shows of the silent era. Comedians Laurel and Hardy also made shorts almost exclusively until the late 1930s, when production shifted completely to feature films.
Other popular shorts of the time were Joe McDoakes’ films and animated shorts from studios such as Walt Disney Productions and Warner Bros. Cartoons. By the mid-1950s the short film had completely disappeared, while the animated short films will continue to be famous and popular.
Animated Short Films
In fact, short films were also the preferred format for television to broadcast animated films. Short films such as those of Hanna Barbera and the Pink Panther produced by large studios continued to be distributed on television for decades, with new episodes up to the 1980s and reruns during the 1990s.
Today the most important production company that continues the tradition of short film is Pixar. In 2007 Pixar was acquired by Disney which continues to produce live-action shorts such as theseries Muppets and other shorts made for the YouTube channel.
Short Films in Festivals
Short Films have often been relegated to the Festival circuit. Almost all the most prestigious and important festivals have a category reserved for short films, including the Academy Award. In recent years there has been an increasing importance of short films in the Festival circuit, thanks to digital channels that allow you to watch short films and films outside the traditional length formats.
Indeed, since the 2000s, the supremacy of feature film as a standard format is losing importance. Many digital platforms have emerged that place great emphasis on distribution of short films.
Amateur Short Films
Another huge phenomenon is the production of amateur shorts, facilitated by new digital technologies and the mass use of smartphones that now produce videos of the highest quality. There is no doubt that there are some shorts made with a smartphone that are superior to professional shorts made by a studio with a big budget.
It is a clear example of how the ideas, emotions, sensitivity and worldview of an amateur short film can sometimes be much more interesting than a professional film with famous actors. Packaging is not essential: with the development of technology that democratizes the art of cinema this is becoming more and more evident.
The big studios, however, are now securing a monopoly through the distribution, marketing and public loyalty. There digital technology is in fact,not enough to convince the public to watch a short film or an independent film.
Through complex strategies of homologation of preferences public. Piloting the mass audience remains a fairly simple operation when there is no widespread critical consciousness.
Arthouse Short Films
There is no doubt that the author short film is one of the most made films by the great masters of cinema at the beginning of their career. From this point of view, one of the reasons is that the author’s short film allows you to experiment beyond the feature film, more expensive and difficult to make.
The short film is the ideal territory for experimental and arthouse cinema, to build new avant-garde forms. In the world of auteur short films we find films with a strong visual component, devoid of a traditional narrative, sometimes devoid of dialogue.
Even the format of the short film itself forces directors to invent new things, to seek the cinematic synthesis of events, often with a symbolic and metaphorical value.
Best Short films to Watch
A selection of the best short films to watch: new talents and cult of the history of cinema.
The life of Loredana, a 32-year-old girl who lives in Palermo. The documentary is divided in two. In the first part he is more intimate and talks about his person, in the second part he talks about how he lives.
Calabria, late 1980s and first half of the 1990s. Cracolice, a seaside village in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is sadly known in the news for an event that broke out in the early 90s, never denied or confirmed: following the landing of the famous “ships of poisons”, the young population suddenly stopped growing, creating of eternal adolescents. Environmental disaster or mafia-like conspiracy?
Believe in You
Inspired by modern cinema such as that of Christopher Nolan, in this short film, the director questions the question of time, disseminating important details in the narration that the viewer must not miss. A film that takes place in a surrealist, utopian and almost extraterrestrial dimension: the anguished protagonist is wrapped in an aura of mystery, the characters are commanded by the director himself like puppets. Nominee for three nominations for the Golden short Film Festival.
Ninnaò tackles the theme of milk mothers in a direct and raw way, highlighting in an original way the relationships that are established between two women who will end up competing for the baby. It will win that he will be able to take advantage of the situation more. Produced by the Experimental Center of Cinematography in Rome, it is a film on the theme of the family, which tells of the intimate roots of the human being and family dynamics.
A deaf homeless man manages to save a girl from the clutches of a rapist. Shocked and moved, the girl is very grateful to the man and would like to repay. The homeless man wants nothing in return, until a pair of magnificent wings protrude from the girl’s back. To convey the hearing of a deaf person to the viewer, the short film tried to make silence sound.
In the near future, new technology makes us even more alienated and hyper-connected. Marco, crushed by a boring and monotonous life, seeks his place in the world. When he meets Nico at a bar counter, he thinks he has finally found him. But it will end up being just one piece of a bigger game, with disturbing implications.
Earth was destroyed by famine, war, starvation and human devastation, but some people who remained in space survived and later formed a colony called “Emperian”. Years later they have discovered a way to go back in time. Therefore, they decided to send a girl named Amaya. The Emperians believe they are saving the earth by saving Jesus Christ.
Charlie Chaplin’s Comic Short Films
Charlie Chaplin becomes known around the world with the short films of his character Charlot, inspired by his life experience, invented in 1914. A tramp with huge shoes who adds the poetry of the great to the comic films of the time. cinema. Initially directed by other directors, from 1918 onwards Charlie Chaplin moved behind the camera and began to obsessively take care of all the creative aspects of his short films, from writing to music.
Lockdown Trilogy of Mine – Stage I
Apathy: Lockdown 2020. A quarantined writer faces a creative lockdown. The Muse is caught between the fears of her mind. These fears arise from the economic and social instability that the total enclosure threw in his face. A tribute to all the artists in the world who face very hard times ….
Lockdown Trilogy of Mine – Stage II
A writer in quarantine (who can no longer write) seems to accept the government measures, even if they have deprived him of his freedom and independence, strength, joy and, above all, of his work. It happens that at some point he can no longer breathe. Strange sensations perceived during the lockdown. We are all the same person, behind the mask. The short film was entirely made at a distance, each in the place where he was in quarantine …
Simon of the Desert
Simón, a long-bearded holy man, lives on a column in the middle of the desert, almost in total fasting. People worship him as a Messiah. He performs miracles, undergoes temptations from Satan, who torments him under the guise of a handsome woman. A series of grotesque, surreal, magical and picaresque scenes. The best Luis Bunuel in just 45 minutes.
Before the Time Changes
Every year, the last week of October, between Saturday and Sunday, the transition from summer time to solar time takes place, the antechamber of the winter season. Before moving the hands back one hour and feeling the approach of darkness, someone decides to leave and celebrate the memory of the day.
Todosentimento in addition to revealing a first quality piece of music, contributes to the knowledge of one of the most heartfelt artistic relations of the Italian-Brazilian language, De Vito-Buarque. The protagonist, the voice of time heard, is a poet who aspires to love. How can a man devoted to sensitivity achieve total love? Is there a road that leads him to this goal (or half)?
The story of the film takes place in Pescara. The film is a tribute to the imaginary world of Andrea Pazienza. The surreal plot is supported by unlikely characters who inhabit urban spaces, giving life to dreamlike states and comic gags.
In 19th-century Brittany, a young girl who will soon marry decides to flee her home and sow death on her way.
Elena wakes up one morning and realizes that her feet have been stolen and exchanged for hideous feet.
The Best Man in the World
With a bomb tied to his wrist and eight minutes before it explodes, Danilo Conti has to run to the other side of the city to deactivate it: but he is also the best man in the world …
The Dark Web
A gripping dramatic thriller short film by Andres Di Bono produced in the USA in 2022. A desperate father explores the depths of the infamous Dark Web to find a new heart for his sick son who seems to be on numbered days. Faced with the loss of his family and perhaps more, he must answer the question: “How far is he willing to go?” A tight thriller condensed into a short film that tells a story that seriously tests the protagonist, a father left alone to deal with his own inner resources and who receives no help from the “legal” world around him . To what extent is it possible to rely on the illegal world of the dark web? What happens when we are faced with a crossroads that can mean life or death? There is a point where you are called to bet all you have, and even more, on a single spin of roulette, and to do so requires enormous courage.
The Year of The Dog (2019)
The story follows a solitary individual, possibly grappling with mental disturbances, who becomes fixated on a young and captivating woman. His obsession drives him to compulsively tail her, capturing photographs incessantly. As he delves deeper, he discovers that she works as a prostitute, observing her as she lures men and leads them through the streets of Los Angeles to her abode.
The woman becomes an irresistible obsession for the man, to the extent that, at a particular juncture, during the Chinese New Year celebrations in the Chinatown district, he crosses a line. Choosing to forcefully enter her domicile, the man ventures into her life in an act of morbid curiosity.
This short film presents itself as a visionary and surreal creation. Its photography, characterized by acidic colors and neon lights, helps establish an entirely unreal atmosphere. The performances by the two lead actors are of remarkable quality, and the film appears to pay homage to David Lynch’s distinctive style. At certain moments, there is an echo of the existential solitude that pervades Travis in “Taxi Driver.”
The protagonist, marginalized by society, encounters a woman shrouded in mystery. While commencing with the threads of an obsessive and erotic mystery, the film dramatically shifts course in the denouement, culminating in an exceedingly shocking climax.