We love shortfilms!
Short films (including those for adults) are often dismissed as kids’ stuff, as a practice platform for the big brother feature-length film, in which students* learn their craft. But the short film is much more than just the lean version of the feature-length film!
It is a place to experiment, to fantasize, to try things out or to concentrate on a topic. Due to it’s relatively small budget and shorter production period, the short form offers great artistic freedom and plenty of room for experiments. Moreover, short films are less standardised than feature-length films, which often have to adhere much more to visual or narrative conventions due to financial pressure.
The fact that short films are thus sometimes much more uncomfortable for our (entrenched) viewing habits than feature-length films is a hurdle worth overcoming.
The fact that it leaves us alone with our thoughts again after a short time and thus limits our deep immersion in a story, leaves us time for reflection and discussion. This is not only of great advantage for it’s use in schools, but also crucial for media reception in general.
Moreover, short film can move through all genres. Therefore, a short film programme always offers the possibility of direct comparison and contextualisation. And this is necessary and beneficial for the development of media understanding and for shaping one’s own taste. All this makes short film extremely suitable for young audiences, who are often much more receptive to experimental forms and surprises.
Last but not least, however, a major advantage of the short film, especially for younger children, lies simply in its brevity. Because of the limited attention span of children, short films offer an ideal introduction to the cinema as a new and magical place.