An Introduction to Short Films

  • 10 October: Introduction to the Course

Short films, eh? Why bother when you’ve got feature films? This introduction will show and discuss some inspirational shorts that offer their own distinct pleasures and satisfactions, while considering what makes a short film and how they relate to the rest of cinema.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 17 October: Screening: London Short Film Festival: F*cked Up Love

Is that a tear or a twinkle in your eye? Whether it be romantic or family, love is always messy. This romantic programme of short films covers heart-wrenching drama, hand-wringing comedy and eye-popping animation and is wholly unsuitable for first dates.
Cinema 3

  • 24 October: The Business of Shorts

Who makes them and who watches them? This session will discuss the short film industry in the UK, from production and funding to distribution, exhibition and the wonderful world of film festivals.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 31 October: Genre and Tendencies

While shorts offer filmmakers less stringent dramatic constraints than features, certain tendencies have nonetheless emerged. From ‘through-the-eyes-of-a-child’ melodrama to ‘screaming corridors’ trauma-rama, the canon of short film has developed its own curious brand of sub-genres, and this session will look at some of these traits, strengths and weaknesses.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 7 November: Screening:VX Auteur Theory – short film selection

A platform for new directors with strong visions, and a personal, hands-on approach to filmmaking. It’s pure, it’s funny, it’s dark, it’s a new generation of DIY Auteur! Featuring award winning work from Simon Ellis and David Alexander and a knock knock joke that made Joanna Lumley fall off her cinema seat. Curated by Lucia Helenka.
Cinema 3

  • 14 November: Art and the Short

Are short films distinct as an art form? And what’s the difference between short film and “artist’s moving image”? This session will cover short film’s relationship to Dance film, Skate film and increasingly prevalent hybrid forms of animation, documentary and music videos, demonstrating how shorts experiment to push new forms of narrative forward.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 21 November: Ones to Watch

Who are the leading lights of the current short film scene? And what’s happening at the moment in Manchester and North West? This session will look at on-the-cusp filmmakers currently making the transition to features, as well as those who simply make great shorts.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 28 November: The Future

From YouTube to mobile phones, Big Screens in public places to online screening opportunities, this session will discuss the unique restrictions and possibilities for these new exhibition points, and how are they influencing new modes of short film such as microshorts. The course will end with a DIY guide on how to set up your own short film screening night, which by Week 8 you will be sufficiently inspired to do!
Cinema 1 Education Space

There’s no prior reading required for this course but course participants may be interested in the following books.

  • Elsey, Eileen and Kelly, Andrew, In Short: A Guide to Short Film-Making in the Digital Age, British Film Institute, 2002.
  • Faber, Liz and Walters, Helen, Animation Unlimited: Innovative Short Films Since 1940, HarperCollins, 2004.
  • Raskin, Richard, The Art of the Short Fiction Film: A Shot by Shot Study of Nine Modern Classics, McFarland & Company, Inc, 2002.
  • Tuttle, Tricia (ed.), Get Your Short Film Funded, Made and Seen: The Short Film Book from Shooting People, Shooting People, 2007

It can be quite difficult to get hold of short films, but these anthology DVDs are a good start.

  • Cinema 16: British Short Films,
  • Cinema 16: European Short Films, Cinema 16: American Short Films
  • Shooting People Best vs Best volumes 1 and 2

Available online at and

From early cinema to YouTube, short films have always been a fertile breeding ground for new filmmaking talent. This course will discuss classic shorts and the impact of the digital revolution and will highlight the current bright lights of the UK underground film scene making the transition from shorts to features. Each week several short films will be screened and discussed. Students will leave with an overview of current trends and players, and a developed appreciation and appetite for short film.

Led by Kate Taylor, editor of the Northern Film Network and co-director of the London Short Film Festival.

Beginners’ level – no prior knowledge required.
Course Price: £60.00 full / £45.00 concs. Bookings through Box Office (0161 200 1500).