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By Liliana Rincón L.   Remember the last short film you saw? It's that story you enjoyed in the movie theater before they screened the movie you paid for. I have been marked by several animated shorts that stayed with me, but let's start by talking about what a short is. A short film is a work of moving image whose minimum duration is seven minutes and usually does not exceed twenty. But, if we are guided by that, a short could be the recording you made with your cell phone on your child's birthday… No, that's not it. A short film tells a story, short but, at the end of the day, story. We see different actors in some locations, embodying characters who suffer misadventures or live different situations. They can be animated characters that in short minutes impact us with what happens to them. It can also be a short documentary, that is, it represents the reality on a specific topic, If you see a short on TV, internet or your cell phone, it is because a production team organized in various departments tried hard to bring this written story to the image. The person responsible for this group is the producer. He is the one who organizes the short film since the idea of telling the story arises and organizes the project, manages the financing and achieves together with that work team that you enjoy it on your screen.    

How do short films get to movie theaters?

Unlike feature films, selling a short film is quite complex, so they are not usually profitable. And how do they get to the room to be shown before the film? Decree 352 of 2004 generates a stimulus to the exhibition of Colombian short films by offering a tax exemption to exhibitors (movie theaters) that include them in their programming. In order for the exhibitor to apply for this exemption, it is necessary to take into account that in no case may commercials, political propaganda or institutional videos be specified in Decree 2211 of 2017, which also establishes that the short film must be approved by the committee appointed by the National Council of Arts and Culture in Cinematography CNACC. And with what criteria are they approved? "The contribution of the work to national cinematography will be valued"In our country, the main source of support for the financing of the realization of short films is the FDC Film Development Fund, which makes calls for short fiction, documentary and animated projects (Pre-pandemic stage, and we hope post-pandemic as well) that evaluate international and national juried experts, and selects the best projects by giving them resources to be able to move into production.    To achieve its objectives, of course l@s producers must contribute our resources to make the short, and the resources of the FDC are essential for us to complete the financing.    Clearly, when we receive these resources, as producers responsible for everything, we force ourselves to make a supremely detailed legalization with all kinds of supports, of course it is the minimum to which one can commit when receiving a resource of public origin to be able to produce their own short. These shorts that win these FDC stimuli have direct approval to be evaluated by movie theaters and shown on their screens.     

The importance of producing short films

While some express themselves through music, drawing or words, others decide to express ourselves through images. The short film is the training space par excellence for future professionals in audiovisual and content creation (screenwriters, directors, photographers, cameramen, sound designers, animators, art directors, character designers, including obviously producers and many more) to start their journey in this sector. Even if a teacher strives in every possible way to teach his students audiovisual production, there will never be enough elements in a classroom like the experience of taking on a production. The shorts are key to measuring the capabilities and skills of the producer, they are the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes (and the costs involved) and have better tools for their next project. Great directors and important producers began their careers making short films. That's why creating and producing our animated short film ANIMALARIO for us as content creators was vital. We learned a lot about the implications of creating a narrative universe and dreaming of producing the first Animated Colombian short with Facebook apps, augmented reality, Apps for IOS and an unprecedented premiere event. As an independent production, of course we invest our resources to see our dream come true.  We are committed to a narrative aimed at young audiences, anchored in narrative elements of the crime novel.   ANIMALARIO is a story where animals are the protagonists of a world where ethics, justice and evil are the scene of a dispute for social order. As the producer of this short I had a wonderful team that during two years of writing, six months of pre-production, five months of animation, four months of uninterrupted rendering, four months of composition, two of construction of the soundtrack and composition of original music, made possible this short film of 25 thousand frames. I invite you to see ANIMALARIO, part of the collection Jewels of Colombian Cinema of Film Heritage, selected in more than 30 festivals, of which I highlight AnimaMundi in Brazil and Hiroshima in Japan and winner in Rome and the United States. This is the moment for which tod@s work, for you to see it and get excited about this story. Tell us how you thought!