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a motion picture of no more than four or five reels (1,200-1,500 m).
Shorts in the USSR are primarily documentaries (newsreels or essays), popular-science motion pictures (including educational films and lectures), and cartoons; they are designed to run on movie programs as an addition to a full-length feature film. Feature shorts, which are rarely produced, are usually shown with several others as a full-length program. Shorts require a well-defined concept, clarity, and conciseness. The genre enables film-makers to reflect various aspects of socioeconomic and cultural life flexibly and effectively.
Abroad, under the conditions of capitalist film-making, short films serve as a means for directors who have no opportunities to produce full-length feature motion pictures to express their creative individuality. The creative and thematic scope of shorts is very broad, ranging from the politically progressive to the formalistic, surrealistic, and abstract.
To get the public’s attention, many countries conduct national and international short-film festivals (including Kraków, Poland; Leipzig, German Democratic Republic; and Oberhausen, Federal Republic of Germany). Shorts are also shown at general film festivals (including the International Film Festival in Moscow and the All-Union Film Festival).