Actor playing the Australian bushranger Ned Kelly in The Story of the Kelly Gang , the world's first dramatic feature-length film. The term feature film came into use to refer to the main film presented in a cinema and the one which was promoted or advertised. The term was used to distinguish the longer film from the short films referred to as shorts typically presented before the main film, such as newsreels , serials , animated cartoons , live-action comedies, and documentaries.
There was no sudden increase in the running times of films to the present-day definitions of feature-length; the "featured" film on a film program in the early s gradually expanded from two to three to four reels.
Early features had been produced in the United States and France, but were released in individual short film scenes. This left exhibitors the option of playing them alone, to view an incomplete combination of some films, or to run them all together as a short film series. The American company S. Some consider the minute The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight to be the first documentary feature film, but it is more accurately characterized as a sports program as it included the full unedited boxing match.
In , the documentary film In the Army was made. It was over 1 hour in length and was about the training techniques of the British soldier. Defined by length, the first dramatic feature film was the Australian minute film The Story of the Kelly Gang The latter starring actor Frederick Warde starred in some of these movie adaptations.
By over feature films were produced annually in the United States. Since , the country with the highest feature output has been India ,  which produces a thousand films in more than twelve Indian languages each year.
In , Warner Bros. Even before color was a possibility in movies, early film makers were interested in how color could enhance their stories.
It was a complex, time consuming, and expensive process that many movie studios were not eager to try. In , George Lucas ' Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones became the first major feature-length film to be shot entirely on digital cameras. It also gave viewers access to huge amounts of online content on demand.