A short film is a cinematographic work that lasts less than 60 minutes. Just like with feature films, fiction, animation, documentary, or experimental films are also part of the genres short films have to offer. This industry is a mine for tomorrow’s talents (producers, directors, technicians, artists, actors, etc.) while some directors go back to short films throughout their entire career.

However, the widely spread common idea consists in saying short films are invisible, that “it used to be better”, before, “we used to watch shorts before features”. It is true that a short film is a fragile work, which doesn’t benefit from the same broadcast system as feature films. Short films don’t come out on a weekly basis with daily screenings at each show.

In 2016, in its annual research study on short films, the CNC counted, 3.5 millions admissions for shorts before features or curated programs screenings. These partial figures represent 2,698 short films distributed in French theaters (aside from festivals and occasional screenings) and 98,747 programmed shows.



With L’Extra Court program, L’Agence du court métrage contributes to the distribution of short films in movie theaters. Look up the participant movie theaters as well as their programming, on L’Extra Court website. Other short films before features initiatives exist such as the CLAP in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Mèche Courte in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bretagne Tout court in Brittany, Court(s) devant in Centre-Val de Loire as well as Quartier Libre in Seine-Saint-Denis.


L’Agence du court métrage works with over 600 movie theaters. Many among them also distribute short films programs for young audiences and any other type of audience. These screenings are often referred to as “events” and are accompanied by film directors. In Paris, L’Agence du court métrage regularly organizes the release of programs or screenings, along with Les Cinémas Indépendants Parisiens, or Association des Cinémas de Recherche d’Île-de-France within the framework of various projects, such as L’Enfance de l’art.


In France, more than 350 festivals project short films. In 2018, the Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival counted over 165,000 admissions. Many other festivals across France gather large audiences, a true evidence of the interest spectators take in this format.

As there is a profusion of short films directed every year, festivals become a “leading market”, a place where short films are discovered by audiences as well as professionals (producers, broadcasters…).


Most TV channels broadcast short films, yes they usually air late at night, but now, these shorts are available through catch-up services: Histoires courtes on France 2, Libre court on France 3, Court circuit on ARTE, Top of the shorts on Canal+ or Court central on OCS. These are some of the popular shows featuring short films with extras and interviews with filmmakers. Let’s also mention TV5 Monde, the first short film broadcaster in France and abroad.


We couldn’t really conclude without mentioning the Internet, a space where short films and short forms in general are abundantly broadcasted through VOD, SVOD, or video sharing. L’Agence du court métrage regularly collaborates with online platforms like Universciné or MUBI. Moreover, we have recently launched Brefcinema, our own service of video on demand available by subscription. This service is fully dedicated to short films and subscribers can discover each week the best short films and a new generation of filmmakers.

Photos : Panique au Sénat, by Antonin Peretjatko / Étreintes, by Justine Vuylsteker