Short online documentaries?
July 14, 2010 2:19 AM   Subscribe

Looking for free, short online film, or preferably documentaries I can watch during my lunch break (i.e. no more than 30 minutes in length).

I've loved stuff like California is a Place, My Playground, or Cape of Good Hope (and the other docs in the series). I hope these three give you some idea of what I'm looking for - I think it's basically short documentaries focusing on "urban" type stuff. Both gritty and sunny are fine!

Thanks so much in advance!
posted by Skyanth to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Actually, if you have a short documentary that does not focus on urban things but that you think I must see anyway because it's so fantastic, please tell me. The only really hard limit is the 30 minutes.

posted by Skyanth at 2:25 AM on July 14, 2010

Stuff from Ubu is often short, quirky and fascinating.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:56 AM on July 14, 2010

Documentaries Online
posted by crunchland at 3:20 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: This is one uncovered gem of a place.
posted by watercarrier at 3:44 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: Mubi (née The Auteurs) is a great web streaming site for arthouse and documentary cinema and shorts. Quite a lot of the films are free if that matters.
posted by caek at 4:08 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: I used to work at the place that does the Media that Matters Film Festival. All entries are 8 minutes or shorter, and on some social issue, so they are usually at least half "urban"-ish, and a mixture of gritty and sunny. There's eight years of festival on there, and they're always really great and gripping.
posted by xueexueg at 6:13 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: There are some really good ones on Youtube.

I stumbled on this the NITV channel here:
There's a short film there called "Frankie" and it's really well made and kind of sad.

There's also this:
which is updated fairly often I think. There's a lot of films there.
posted by joyeuxamelie at 7:56 AM on July 14, 2010 offers Vanguard. All episodes under half an hour, and the ones I've watched have been great.
posted by acridrabbit at 9:12 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: Here's a sunny and gritty urban doc that I edited. It's cut up into 10 minute segments. Enjoy!
posted by rocco at 10:21 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: I'll repost my answer from this thread, which you might find useful:

The NFB (National Film Board of Canada) has hundreds of documentaries online.

Hot Docs has also put a lot of documentaries online that have screened at the festival (it's the biggest doc festival in the world). I think this was previously on the blue.

In particular, many of the NFB's documentaries are short.
posted by Beardman at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2010

P.S. Once you run a search on the Hot Docs site, you can list the results by Run Time.
posted by Beardman at 10:48 AM on July 14, 2010

Best answer: Border Stories is a series of short documentaries about the border between the US and Mexico. A number of them are about urban issues. My old post about it has more information. I also posted about Uneven Terrain, a series of short documentaries about urban exploration.
posted by Kattullus at 11:19 AM on July 14, 2010

If it hasn't been mentioned before (surely it must have?):
The Prelinger Archive
has a huge collection of documentaries and P.S.A.s - from
Bonkers 50's "Mental Hygeine" propaganda:
The Relaxed Wife (1957)

through to wonderfully faded, grainy 70's Liberal Social Studies things:
Social Seminar: Changing (1971)

See if you can spot Troy McClure.
posted by driftingclouds at 12:30 PM on July 14, 2010

Feel obliged to mention the often fantastic talks from TED.
posted by cross_impact at 5:04 PM on July 14, 2010

For that matter, Big Think.
posted by crunchland at 5:47 PM on July 14, 2010

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