A movie genre that features low-budget films shot mostly on digital video, edited on a computer, and then distributed via videotape or over the Internet. Also: micro-cinema.
Because microcinema opens a direct connection between filmmakers and audience, for the first time in the 100-plus-year history of motion pictures average people can shoot, edit, and perhaps even disseminate their visions without answering to anybody.
—Rob Kenner, “My Hollywood!,” Wired, October 1, 1999
Digital movie making — sometimes called microcinema — is a relatively small but growing movement of small-scale film makers using the cheaper and rapidly evolving digital technology to make short films and exhibit them on the Internet.
—Rick Lyman, “ Dreamworks and Imagine Plan an Internet Venture,” The New York Times, October 26, 1999
“Low-fi film,” the do-it-yourself pursuit of cinema, has become a true Seattle phenomenon.
Joel S. Bachar, the video artist behind Blackchair, calls his enterprise and others like it “microcinemas.” Others call the emerging culture “multi-frame.” Both terms embrace work with a wide range of tools — from all-digital film to pieces made with thrift-store cameras.
—Cynthia Rose, “Seattle’s do-it-yourself cinema,” The Seattle Times, April 12, 1998
A second sense of this word — a small exhibition space used to display alternative and underground films — is a bit older:
Whether or not Quadrangle’s micro-cinema is actually the smallest cinema in the world is a moot point.
—Liese Spencer, “There were 12 people sitting in the audience. And that was on a good night.” The Independent (London), August 21, 1995