Short Film Is Making News in Cannes

According to this Guardian story, short film is having a good showing at Cannes. Most encouraging, I think, are two examples of how short film might widen its audience in the future and maybe pull off theatrical releases.
First, there is the “feature” PARIS, JE T’AIME, a collection of 18 five-min. films about Paris directed by people like Olivier Assayas, the Coen’s, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alexander Payne.
Next, two entries in the shorts category are installments of an 8-part “feature” (called “8”) co-produced by the United Nations. These films, shot by “eight world-class filmmakers,” are about the eight Millennium Development Goals (the U.N.’s goals of halving poverty indices by 2015, but you knew that already). Even if short films about things like “achieving primary education” and “improving maternal health” don’t excite you (you heartless bastard), the project can perhaps become a model for thematic collections of short films that can be screened as “features.”
By now you might have considered that this great new opportunity for short film is not exactly a new opportunity for independent filmmakers. All of the filmmakers mentioned in these two projects don’t exactly need the help.
Anyway, it’ll be nice to see how these collections work. “The Animation Show” (by Judge/Hertzfeldt) was successful, and they’re planning on another tour of films this year. Perhaps it is just a lack of organization that is keeping short film from being distributed. That was certainly the premise for the JSF.

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