Learn About Places Through Short Films

This has been in my queue for a while now, glad I’m finally getting a chance to write about it. TurnHere is a new site that provides information about places in the US and around the world via short films (hundreds of short films.) Check them out at

The masthead mentions New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but there’s a a locations page that mentions all the different cities for which films are available, from Albuquerque to Woodstock, Vermont.

Hey, there’s Reykjavik, Iceland! I go to that page and there’s one film, a three-and-a-half-minute film from Steve Janas. You can view the film on the site, or download it.

Some locations have more than one film. Chicago’s page had eight films covering several aspects of the city including Chicago in general, the Gold Coast, and a very interesting film about Wrigleyville and lots of the characters at a Cubs game. The films are all different; some of them have first-person leading/narration, some of them are just a series of interviews, shots, and music. To the left of the films you’ll notice that there are pointers to other activities in the city, surrounding areas, etc. Most of the films seemed to be between two-and-a-half and four minutes long.

If you look at some of the larger cities — the New York page is an example — you’ll see that some films are marked “Sponsored”. TurnHere has a “Sponsored Film Program” that allows businesses to create films that are featured on TurnHere and which businesses can promote on other sites. I checked out the one for Tom’s Diner in Brooklyn. It was very short (just less than a minute) and while it was focused on Tom’s Diner it didn’t feel blatantly “addy”.

It is interesting how much of a different sense of a place you can get from a brief film, and the wide variety of places covered on the site made wandering through the various locations fun. Worth an explore.

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