20 Open Source Movies You Can Edit and Redistribute for Free
Open Source Movies, also called Open Content Movies or simply Open Movies are, as the name suggests, movies that enable the end user to view and edit the production materials. Philosophically speaking, Open Movies share the same notion that lies at the heart of open source softwares. However, they are not as popular as open source softwares. As a matter of fact, they are so rare that after a decade of their presence, there are roughly dozens of them available. Apparently, Free/Libre/Open source community, a community that is so proud of itself for producing quality alternatives to proprietary products has failed to realize the importance of open movie movement.
So here we are, a blog post dedicated to open movies. I believe that open source advocates as well as movie fans will enjoy the creativity and freedom delivered by open films. If you haven’t seen any open source movie before, this is my general advice: Approach them with open minds. Do not expect too much as they are produced by limited financial and technical resources. Ergo, it’s kind of unfair to compare these movies with Hollywood commercial movies. Do not judge too quickly and try to look for the meaning behind them.
Sintel, one of the three short animated films of Blender Institute, is the story of a girl called Sintel who is searching for her dragon friend Scales. The movie has been praised internationally for showcasing the power and versatility of Blender 3D suit and truly is the quintessential open source movie that is produced until today. Ironically enough, the producers have been able to incorporate a strong storyline in this short 13 minute film. All the 12 GB of production files including blender modeling, artworks and scores are available on a 4 DVD package.
Three young people are searching for a utopian society in northern Finland called Valkaama; a society that is full of harmony, peace and poetry. None of them are aware of the tribulations that are waiting for them in this supposed to be perfect world.
Three German youngsters set to explore United States on a somewhat audacious road trip from Washington to Los Angeles in a classic Cadillac convertible. Things didn’t go as planned and the car wasn’t cooperative at all.
Website | Download | Source (On Demand) | IMDB
4- Sita Sings the Blues
An 80-minutes animated feature film based on the renowned Indian Sanskrit epic The Ramayana. Sita Sings the Blues is an amazing film especially considering the fact that the whole movie has been created by a single person.
5- Big Buck Bunny
Big Buck Bunny is yet another short-animated movie by Blender Institute. The story is about three critters that poke fun at other jungle animals including a big rabbit called Big Buck Bunny. Therefore Big Buck starts to seek vengeance for himself and his beloved butterflies.
6- Elephants Dream
re_potemkin, a copyleft crowdsourcing free/open source cinema project, is a re-build of 1925 silent movie Battleship Potemkin which is in public domain now. re_potemkin is produced by 105 students of Yildiz Technical University aimed to demonstrate the potential of using crowdsourcing to create a film.
8- La chute d’une plume
An 11-minutes french-speaking movie made in stop motion.
9- Dancing to Architecture
10- Boy Who Never Slept
The story of a 23 year-old writer who has felt in love with a 16 year old school girl.
11- Jathias Wager
Jathias Wager carries the title of the first Sci-Fi open source movie. However, it was too short to make a point and at the middle of watching it discordantly came an unrelated clip which was pretty annoying.
Website | Download (alt) | Source (?)
12- Stray Cinema
13- Mob Mentality
14 – Code Rush
The amazing story of how Netscape project released its source code as Mozilla project.
Under Development (Until November 2010)
The following seven movies are in progress. You might want to take a look at them and see if you can participate.
15 – The Digital Tipping Point
“The Digital Tipping Point is a documentary film that will explore how the culture of sharing is spilling from the world of Free Open Source Software into the broader global culture.” — Website
16 – A Swarm of Angles
“A Swarm of Angels is an open source film project and participatory film community, whose aim is to make the world’s first Internet-funded, crewed and distributed feature film. ” — Website
17 – Collision
“Collision is a Brazilian science-fiction open source film, based on the initiative of the Open Source Software, which means taking up the principles of a new kind of Cinematic production in which the distribuition, exhibition and modification of the work is allowed, supported and effectively possible through the release of all its sources.” — Website
18 – The Green Sight Digital Project
A movie about green lifestyle. — Website
19 – Morevna Project
“The main goal of Morevna Project is creation of full-lengthened anime movie, utilizing Open Source software only.” — Website
20- Biker’s Soul
“The adventurous travel of a German motorcycle club to the religious heart of Russia on the mission to get their bikes blessed by the legendary priest of the Black Bears Yaroslavl MC.” — Website
21- The Last Drug
Three backpackers cross South America searching for one of the world´s most powerful drugs. The self-experiment turns into a race against insanity, in a world, where the mind transcends the senses. — Website
Please drop a comment if you know any other open source movies.
Update 1: I’ve come to realize that there is a huge fallacy about Open Source movies. Many people think that all the films that are licensed under Creative Commons or similar free work licenses are also Open Source films. This is certainly NOT true. When we call a movie “Open Source” we mean that it provides all the production materials for viewing and editing under a free work license. This blog post solely covers such movies. That being said, if you are interested in (NON-open source) free-to-share films you can check out communities like VODO.