Short film

“Short film” is a French legal term that refers to a film of less than 60 minutes (“short” corresponding to the length of the film, less than 1600 meters). In France, the commercial exploitation of cinema has been regulated since 1946 by an administration attached to the Ministry of Culture, the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée), which has determined separate legal fields for works according to their type of exploitation and duration:

  • Cinematographic works (first exploited in cinemas): short films and feature films (lasting less or more than 60 minutes).
  • Audiovisual works (first exploited on television or any other media): no distinction according to duration.

Before the advent of community video sites and the development of quality television series, starting in 2005, the short film was seen as a space open to new filmmakers, the antechamber of the feature film. Indeed, the film economy was structured around the commercial exploitation of feature films in theatres. Short films were struggling to be shown and had no economic profitability. Yet a short film, in order to be shown in commercial theatres, had to be produced and directed according to the rules of the film corporation: a duly registered production company, an exploitation visa for the film, passage through the censorship committee, the professional cards required for the film’s technical positions, etc.

Today, in 2020, the field of audiovisual creation has radically changed: one can, with a simple phone call, shoot a film and broadcast it on YouTube for example, where it will potentially be seen by a very large number of viewers. Thanks to technical developments, anyone can produce without referring to an administrative authority and has the power to broadcast without having to be chosen by a professional network.

On YouTube or in other networks, there are billions of “short films”, if we refer to the French legal definition. And yet they are not called “short films”, but rather “videos”. And yet on YouTube, some people put what they call a “short film” online, even though they have no production company, no exhibition visa and no theatrical release. These films are similar to “official” short films with an exhibition visa.

So what is a short film in 2020? It’s multiple. But to try to synthesize, we could say that “short film” corresponds to a (subjective) estimate of the level of artistic quality of an audiovisual object of less than 60 minutes. It is therefore a term that has become above all symbolic.



In the “Mashup Film Festival” at the Forum des Images (Paris, France), 15 and 16 June 2013, I was invited to propose a workshop for making animated films with handheld cameras, in one shot, cut out of paper. The festival, now in its third edition (...)

Tutorial for a professional practice

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Here are some pictures, bulk, events that took place everywhere in France December 21, 2011 as part of the shortest day.

Birth“The shortest day” was born of a dynamic film professionals, who proposed early 2011 to the President of CNC Eric Garandeau, the concept of a national festival of short films, based on the model of the “Music festival” (which is held on June (...)

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43rd Grenoble Open Air Short Film Festival : film analysis course.

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As part of the session “Documentary experiences : childhood” organized by FranceDoc, April 24, 2015 at 19:30 at EnCours in Paris, screening of the film :Vire, next stop (Benoît Labourdette 3’48, 2013). Full program of the sessionFranceDoc (...)

At the launch party at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) of the second edition of “The shortest day”, the international short film day organized by the National Center of Cinema release of the film H Building in the experimental (...)

Diffusion of a selection of short films by Benoît Labourdette in the Bibliobox of the Saint-Lô’s Library.To know more :http://mediatheque.saint-lo.fr/even... Announcement on Saint-Lô’s Library websiteCome to discover our Bibliobox!A Bibliobox (...)

As part of the session « Revolt » Friday, January 23, 2015 at “The cat in the tea-pot” place in Gap (France), screening of the film :The puddle of vomit (Benoît Labourdette 2’00s, 1998).

As part of the session « Oh, my god ? » Friday, May 29, 2015 at “The cat in the tea-pot” place in Gap (France), screening of the film :« No picture on screen » (Benoît Labourdette 2’54s, 2015).

As part of the “Friendship Animals” session on Friday 13 April 2018 at the Maison des Associations of Valensole (France), screening of the film Made in China (Benoît Labourdette, 2017, 6’07s).For more information Kino Gap kinogap.jimdo.com La Voï (...)

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Screening of « Staff room », a film by Benoît Labourdette (2’10, 2012).“Kino”, organized by Christophe Gauthier in Gap (association “The Cat in the teapot”) proposed its first edition, november 30, (...)

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Newspaper article.

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July 26, 2014 release of the film « Is science immoral ? » (Benoît Labourdette, 5’11s, 2014) in the context of programming “Life of Castle” at Montmaur Castle.Partners: Kino Gap / The patio Gourmand / The Cat in the (...)

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As part of the regular sessions of short films organized by Jean-Michel Frodon in Café 61 in Paris, screening as part of the meeting of Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 17h of the movie: « Around » (3’37s, 2013).Café 61. 3 Rue de l’Oise, 75019 Paris. (...)

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Professional meeting led by Benoît Labourdette (duration: 1h35’).

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As part of the session “manipulation” Friday, November 7, 2014, at “The cat in the tea-pot” place in Gap (France), screening of the film :News from father (Benoît Labourdette, 2014, 2’19s).

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