YouTube as Cinema.

Written by: Nuraine Ebrahim

In the traditional sense, the nature of cinema was a place or a theatre where people gathered to escape their mundane lives and watch films for entertainment.

“…In order to have a true cinematic experience, it is necessary to be in a darkened room, sitting in front of a large screen…” (Casetti, 2015, p.61). 

The definition of cinema has advanced. Movies can be watched anywhere and everywhere. All one needs is a connection to the internet and a mobile device. Francesco Casetti explains that the mobility of cinema is comprehended as an assemblage rather than mechanically defined as an apparatus. Therefore, cinema is completely about the experience of a film narrative in any location that a person desires. From the comfort of a person’s bed to the slightly noisy environment on the train (Casetti, 2015, p.62).

Netflix has established itself as a sophisticated network because it has won multiple awards for their films and series. The next step in this digital era would be to consider YouTube as a contender to win Oscars. YouTube has many channels that create some incredible short films, like Real Gone, produced by Film Riot and yet we still don’t see their work recognised for prestigious awards.

The YouTuber, Casey Neistat made an advert with Samsung that aired during the commercial break of the 2017 Oscars. It makes the spectators aware of the YouTubers who make films purely for the passion of doing so. The YouTubers are not acknowledged as filmmakers, but if somebody wants to be a filmmaker all one has to do is record something, anything on a camera and cut it together to make a story. Neistat reminds us of this. Thus, the categories in the Oscars need to develop along with cinema, as it has radically gone from film to digital.   


Casetti, F. (2015). Assemblage. In: Belton, J. The Lumière Galaxy. New York: Columbia University Press. p.61-62.


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