"Microfilms" are all the rage in China's film-scape right now. These short films are called "Wei Dian Ying" (微电影), which mostly refers to low budget amateur digital videos hosted on streaming websites such as Youtube and Youku. Regardless of the term "micro", these films are anything but small. Short maybe, but not small!

"Microfilms" didn't really take off in China until late 2011 to early 2012. Like short films in America, these small budget films are shot by both up-and-coming directors and experienced filmmakers alike. The format is simple: take a topic or a script and shoot a small movie, anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes (they can be longer).

These microfilms are also the favorites of advertisers. Many microfilm directors find funding from companies looking to advertise directly to Chinese netizens.

Subjects for microfilms range from everyday life to video games. The video linked above, shot by Chinese director Zhou Le happens to be about video games. Shot in Beijing's 798 Art District (parts of the district looks like it was ripped out of a FPS game) the short, called Dead Pixels, was Zhou's take on video games and video game shooters.

Despite being slightly dated, this film and another film shot by Zhou were recently shown at a small local film night in Beijing. The second of Zhou's films that aired was one paid for and sponsored by Cotton USA, one arm of the US Cotton lobby.

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