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Feature film

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Feature film

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A reel of film, which predates digital cinematography. A reel of film, which predates digital cinematography.

A feature film is a term the film industry uses to refer to a film made for initial distribution in theaters.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute, and the British Film Institute all define a feature as a film with a running time of forty minutes or longer, although most features today run over ninety minutes.

The term evolved from the days when the cinema-goer would watch a series of short subjects before the main film. The shorts would typically include newsreels, serials, animated cartoons and live-action comedies and documentaries. These types of short films would lead up to what came to be called the "featured presentation": the film given the most prominent billing and running multiple reels.

Based on length, the first feature film was the 1906 release The Story of the Kelly Gang. The first European feature was L'Enfant prodigue (1907), although that was basically an unmodified record of a stage play; Europe's first feature adapted for the screen, Les Misérables, came in 1909. The first American feature was Oliver Twist (1912). Earlier features had been produced in America, but were released in separate one-reel parts, leaving the exhibitor the option of running them together; or they were full-length records of a boxing match.

By 1915 over 600 features were produced annually in America. The best year of U.S. feature production was 1921, with 854 releases; the worst was 1963, with 121 releases. Between 1922 and 1970, the U.S. and Japan alternated as leaders in feature production. Since 1971, the country with the highest feature output has been India.


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Movies, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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