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"The Vow of Chastity" spells out the rules.

A film-making movement begun in 1995 by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, in which the story, acting and themes of a film are favored over the extensive use of special effects or technology.

Films must follow a specific set of rules in order to qualify for Dogme 95 status.

  1. All filming must be done on-location. Props and sets are not allowed, if a particular prop is neccesary for the story, the location chosen must come equipped with this prop.
  2. The sound must not be produced separately from the images, and vice versa. Only diegetic music (i.e. music that exists within the scene that the characters can also hear) is permitted.
  3. The camera must be hand-held and not mounted.
  4. The film must be in colour, and special lighting is not permitted, save for a single lamp attached to the camera if absolutely neccesary.
  5. Optical work and filters cannot be used.
  6. The film cannot contain any superficial action (such as murders or use of weapons).
  7. The film must take place "here and now".
  8. The film must not be a B-movie.
  9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
  10. The director must be uncredited.

So far, fewer than 100 films have been identified as true Dogme 95 films, as the strict rules and guidelines are difficult to meet.

Independent directors have begun to stray from the traditional Dogme 95 formula, creating their own, more lenient rules for creating an artistic independent film. Originally the last point would've been the biggest stumbling block as it virtually guarantees always needing a day job, but with the quality and accessibilty of digital video, 35mm has become something of an indulgence for indie filmmakers.

Dogme '95 films:


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