In motion picture terminology, feature length is the length of a feature film. According to the rules of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes to be eligible for an Academy Award.
Television movies and direct-to-video may also be feature length. An episode of a TV series that has been extended may also be feature length. Such feature-length episodes are usually series pilots, holiday specials, or season finales.
The earliest known feature-length narrative film in the world was the Australian production The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), which was 60 minutes in length. Five-reel features became common practice in the industry in 1915. During the silent era a one-reel short ran for an average of 10 minutes, and a two-reeler (usually a comedy) for 20 minutes, thus a feature was around 50 minutes or more. Possibly due to competition from television, the average length of feature film increased from around 90 minutes in 1931 to almost 120 minutes in 1960.
- "281 Feature Films in Competition for 2008 Oscar". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Olson, Randy (January 25, 2014). "Movies aren't actually much longer than they used to be". Randalolson.com.
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