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Actuality film (Topic)

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The actuality film is a non-fiction film genre that, like the documentary film, uses footage of real events, places, and things, yet unlike the documentary is not structured into a larger argument, picture of the phenomenon or coherent whole. In practice, actuality films preceded the emergence of the documentary. During the era of early cinema, actualities—usually lasting no more than a minute or two and usually assembled together into a program by an exhibitor—were just as popular and prominent as their fictional counterparts. The line between "fact" and "fiction" was not so sharply drawn in early cinema as it would become after the documentary came to serve as the predominant non-fiction filmmaking form. An actuality film is not like a newspaper article so much as it is like the still photograph that is published along with the article, with the major difference being that it moves. Apart from the traveling actuality genre, actuality is one film genre that remains strongly related to still photography.

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