20 Open Source Movies You Can Edit and Redistribute for Free

with 60 comments

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.

1- Sintel

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.

Website | Download | Download Source | Score | IMDB


2- Valkaama

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.

Website | Download | Download Source | IMDB

3- Route 66 – An American (Bad) Dream

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.

Website | Download | Download Source | IMDB

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.

Website | Download | Download Source | IMDB

6- Elephants Dream

Yet another release from Blender Institute. Elephants Dream is a 10 minutes short movie about complexities of a machine and how the characters deal with this complexity and ambiguity.

Website | Download | Download Source | IMDB

7- re_potemkin

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.

Website | Download | Download Source

8- La chute d’une plume

An 11-minutes french-speaking movie made in stop motion.

Website | Download | Download Source

9- Dancing to Architecture

A 20-minutes documentary about TINA festival in Australia. Filmed in 2002, This is one of the oldest open source documentaries that I could find.
Website | Watch | Download Source

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.

Website | Download | Source (Dead Link)

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

“Stray Cinema is an open source film. It is an experiment that combines filmmaking with online information sharing.”
Watch | Source

13- Mob Mentality

A web series about the lives of people with various occupations.
Watch | Download Source

14 – Code Rush

The amazing story of how Netscape project released its source code as Mozilla project.

Website | Download | Download Source | IMDB


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.

Written by Woody

November 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Open Content

60 Responses

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  1. Bloodspell is a very good fantasy machinima. I enjoyed it more than Sintel. It’s creative commons share-alike non-commercial.


    November 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    • Nice movie! But be aware that just because Bloodspell is licensed under Creative Common does not make it Open Source. The main criterion of being an open source movie is to provide all the raw footage and production materials. However Bloodspell does not provide such materials so it’s not open source.


      November 5, 2010 at 7:14 am

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lucasgonzalez, Thalles de Paula and Nicolás Finamore, Pablo Bachi Varisco. Pablo Bachi Varisco said: 20 Open Source Movies You Can Edit and Redistribute for Free > #recomendado #OpenSource […]

  3. How about Pioneer One ( and Lionshare(


    November 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    • They are independent movies and also licensed under Creative Commons but they are NOT Open Source films. Anyway, Thanks for your suggestions.


      November 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm

  4. […] foundation siano gli unici progetti  di filmati open source, si sbaglia. Dal blog in inglese soosck.wordpress arriva questa collezione di film e documentari open source! Sono stati prodotti con […]

  5. […] Elephants Dream costruito ad arte con il versatile e potente Blender. Un blog inglese (Soosck) ha raccolto venti film girati e montati con software OpenSource. Alcuni lavoro sono individuali, altri sono […]

  6. Awesome. I didn’t know that there were this many open source movies. I knew about the ones that the Blender Project did, but not the others.



    November 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm

  7. […] 20 Open Source Movies You Can Edit and Redistribute for Free via […]

  8. […] 20 Open Source Movies You Can Edit and Redistribute for Free … Posted by Randy on November 8, 2010 Posted Via Email via […]

  9. Great list and thanks for the spotlighting all the open source movie projects out there. I think we’ll see renewed interest in open source filmmaking and hopefully add some great additions to this list. I just spoke at the Open World Forum about open source movies, and it was the first time they included films at the conference. I will send you updated links to the source files for the 3 projects I’ve contributed to (Boy Who Never Slept, Jathia’s Wager and Mob Mentality Series). I’m currently rebuilding the MoviePals website to highlight the source files and make it easier to contribute to our open productions (more of those on the way too).

    Solomon Rothman

    November 10, 2010 at 5:54 am

    • When I was compiling this list, one of the main things that irked me was the fact that many open movie projects seemed miscommunicated or lost in a shuffle. It was shocking to me that many open source films lack even a plain poster, screenshot or a well-designed website. I think it’s a great you are improving MoviePal website and giving talks at Open Source conferences. That’s what open source filmmakers need to do. The process of “getting the word out” does not take place in a vacuum. I’m looking forward to seeing the new design and updated links of your website.


      November 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

  10. Thanks good article.. But the site is slowly opening…

    Mike Jawn

    November 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm

  11. Drew my attention as someone who loves movies captions.Thanks for the post

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  12. Nice post was Just too Cool 🙂

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    December 5, 2010 at 9:08 am

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  14. l like this post

    radyo dinle

    January 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

  15. Thank You admin.. like

  16. Does RIP: A Remix Manifesto fit into that list?!:_A_Remix_Manifesto

    Kris Haamer

    November 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  17. Warning! Some of the posted movies are actually CC-BY-*NC*-SA and must be removed from the list. Also, others use a generic copyleft post instead of an actual license.

    Carlos Solís

    January 24, 2012 at 12:28 am

    • If you are thinking on ‘La Chute d’une Plume’, please note that source files including Kdenlive project file are CC-BY-SA. Only final generated movie file is CC-BY-NC-SA, to prevent Youtube & co uses of it : we want people to download a godd quality file, instead of streaming it.


      May 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

      • Easy workaround: re-render it yourself, license that as CC-BY-SA, upload to, for example, MediaGoblin. Mwahaha.


        May 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

        • That’s it, make people use the sources. No problem then…. we don’t want to keep control on the movie!


          May 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm

  18. You’ve forgotten “Oceania,” directed by a 17 year old from San Francisco:


    July 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

  19. we are trying to get another off the ground, if you want to be involved in a new open film, come join us


    July 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm

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  44. “Sita Sings the Blues” may be open-source-ish as the .fla (closed source work files) are downloadable, but it’s licenced under CC *share-alike*, which is sort of, “you can’t see the source, but you can’t edit and change it yourself”.

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    • I mean, you CAN see the source, but not edit it and publish, it has to stay the same in order to be republished.

      Maybe only if it’s tweaked into something else entirely, I don’t know. Not just a different cut or twist of the same movie, or extended version, perhaps not even a sequel.

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