Laurence Boyce is a film journalist and programmer of various short film festivals in the UK and Europe. Follow him on Twitter @LaurenceBoyce or find him at laurenceboyce.weebly.com
"Short films eh? They're just practice before you make a real film."
In my career as a short film programmer, the above is a phrase I hear with depressing regularity. Sure, many directors make shorts before they make feature films (including Mike Leigh, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick) but to dismiss them as "practice" would seem a bit unfair. Nobody says Kafka's short stories are rubbish because they're not the length of a novel.
A short film is an art form in its own right and to make a great short requires innate skill and immense talent.