Short movie

any film not long enough to be considered a feature film

A short movie, short film, or short is any movie not long enough to be considered a feature film (movie). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits".[1] However, the term is used by many as a catchall for anything less than 90 minutes in length.[2] A feature film or movie usually runs from 90 to 120 minutes but can be as long as 180 minutes.[3] There are other standards for short films. The Oberhausen short film festival defines a short as 35 minutes.[4] The BBC Short Film Festival, the Academy Awards, and Clermont-Ferrand use 40 minutes. The San Francisco, Uppsala, and Kraków are among those using a limit of 60 minutes.[4]

Short films or movies are sometimes called short subjects. Before 1910 all American movies were short subjects.[5] Another term used for short films is avant-garde or "avant-garde short films".[6] The term featurette originally was used for a movie or film longer than a short subject, but shorter than a standard feature film.[5] Documentaries are almost always short films. So are many training films.[7]

Short films are usually made by independent filmmakers and are not for profit. They are made with a low budget or no budget at all. Shorts are usually funded by film grants, non profit organizations, Sponsors, or personal funds. Short films are generally used by filmmakers to gain experience. They are also used to prove their talent in order to gain funding for future films. They want to attract private investors, entertainment companies, or film studios. Most film festivals show feature films or movies but also show short films. Some short films are shown along with a feature film.


  1. "Rule Nineteen: Short Films Awards". AMPAS. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  2. Sharon Badal, Swimming Upstream: A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution (Oxford, UK; Burlington, MA: Focal Press, 2008), p. 108
  3. Sonja Shenck, The Digital Filmmaking Handbook (Boston, MA: Course Technology, 2011), p. 315
  4. 4.0 4.1 Richard Raskin, The Art of the Short Fiction Film: A Shot by Shot Study of Nine Modern Classics (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2002), p. 3
  5. 5.0 5.1 Anthony Slide, The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry (Oxford, UK; New York: Routledge, 2013), p. 186
  6. William E.B. Verrone, The Avant-Garde Feature Film: A Critical History (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2011), p. 5
  7. Alan Rosenthal, Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos, Fourth Edition (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007), p. 269

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