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Call for papers, Mise au Point n° 11

"Short film: a formal and practical approach"

Short films have often been considered as an experimental playground for filmmakers, whether they are seasoned or beginning artists. The history of media studies shows that this form of filmmaking is apt to stage a reflexive examination of audio-visual creation. It should be remembered yet that short films were initially the standard form of production — only in the 1910s do we witness a reversal with the distinction between feature films and short films.

This issue of Mise au Point suggests investigating this change and what it means in terms of production, broadcasting, programming and reception, in a historiographical outlook. Since short films have been considered as specific from the viewpoint of form, they have been defined through structural, intrinsic elements (formal brevity requires some kind of narrative closure) and through very diverse production modes (they can be school films, commissioned films, experimental films, art house films, militant films, TV short films, webseries…). The form of short films is present in documentaries as well as in fiction, and can be the medium of conventional or unconventional narratives. Just like other audio-visual forms, short films testify to a significant practice which is the borrowing from other works (newsreel, historical records, or found footage), a practice that can be studied here in its relation to the form of short film.

Several main orientations will constitute privileged approaches to the topic:

  • The relation between short films and feature films. Does formal brevity entail specific narrative results?

  • The narrative closure, both in fiction and documentary films.

  • Alterity and hybridity in short films.

  • The economics of short films (budgets, production modes, distribution, broadcast).

  • The influence of digital and interactive narration on short films, especially concerning cross-media or trans-media narratives.

  • Social, professional, political, amateur uses of short film production.

Potential contributors are asked to submit abstracts of 250-500 words and an abbreviated CV by no later than May 31, 2017 to Christophe Gelly: and Caroline Lardy: and Isabelle Le Corff: Full papers will be expected by September 30, 2017.

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