The National: Long and short of it, expert advice on the problems short films encounter
Our modern times seem perfectly suited for the short film. The format should benefit from advances in mobile technology, increased leisure time and diminished attention spans. Yet try to name one of your favourite shorts from the past year. An Oscar nominee? An Oscar winner? From any year? How about five short films ever?
All I could come up with off the top of my head were the Lumière brothers’ train short (one of the first films ever made), Martin Scorsese’s The Big Shave and the little animated stories they show before Pixar movies – and I consider myself a film buff.
“Every short film has a big problem,” admits Saleh Karama, the director of the Emirates Film Competition, which is showing 53 non-features as part of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival this year. “They can play at festivals and on TV sometimes, but there isn’t a lot of space for shorts. That makes it a little difficult for marketing.”
For this feature about marketing short films, I contacted six filmmakers whose works are screening as part of ADFF. Two replied. “Sorry for the tardy response,” one wrote. “Unfortunately I know nothing about, nor have I done anything towards marketing my film.”
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