National Short Film Day Date in the current year: December 28, 2024

National Short Film Day Short films rarely get the attention they deserve, and National Short Film Day was created to rectify this. It is celebrated on December 28 every year to commemorate the first commercial public short film screening that took place on this day in 1895.

The history of short films is as long as the history of filmmaking itself because all early films were very short. There is a common misconception that the first ever short film that received a public screening was The Arrival of the Train at La Ciotat Station directed and produced by the brothers Lumière; however, the first public film screening actually happened earlier.

Auguste and Louis Lumière shot their first short film in 1894 or 1895. They screened a short film titled Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon privately on March 22, 1895 and held their first commercial public film screening on December 28, 1895. The program of the screening consisted of ten short films, each lasting for under a minute.

As cinema evolved, films became longer. Eventually short films developed into a distinct form of cinema that is completely separate from feature-length films. According to the definition provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a short film has a running length of a maximum of 40 minutes, including all credits.

Today, short films are mostly shot by independent filmmakers to gain experience, showcase their skills, and/or secure funding for future feature-length projects. They don’t have a big budget and rarely receive a wide theatrical release outside of film festivals. However, it doesn’t mean that short films are less than feature films. It takes creativity and skill to convey an idea in a short amount of time working with limited resources.

National Short Film Day was created by Film Movement in 2019. Its date was chosen to commemorate the historic film screening that introduced a wide audience to the art of cinema. The main goal of the holiday is to celebrate short films as an art form and highlight their impact on the development of cinema, as well as to celebrate the long history and resilience of the short film industry.

How can you celebrate National Short Film Day? Of course, by watching a short film! You can attend a screening event near you if there is one, throw a watch party for your friends and family, or simply get lost in the rabbit hole that is YouTube. And don’t forget to post your impressions and lists of your favorite short films on social media with the hashtags #NationalShortFilmDay and #ShortFilmDay to let other people know about this amazing holiday.

Another great way to celebrate is to make your own short film. Of course, it will take some preparation because you can’t just whip out your phone and start filming without having a clue what your short film is going to be about. You’ll need an idea, a script, actors, costumes, props, and some basic editing skills. If you want to make your own short film but are not quite sure how to tackle the task, maybe the best way to observe National Short Film Day is to take an online filmmaking course or even enroll in film school.

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National Short Film Day, cultural observances, unofficial holidays, observances in the United States, short films