In film theory, genre refers to the method based on similarities in the narrative elements from which films are constructed. Most theories of film genre are borrowed from literary genre criticism. As with genre in a literary context, there is a great deal of debate over how to define or categorize genres.[citation needed]. Besides the basic distinction in genre between fiction and documentary (from which hybrid forms emerged founding a new genre, docufiction), film genres can be categorized in several ways.

Fictional films are usually categorized according to their setting, theme topic, mood, or format . The setting is the milieu or environment where the story and action takes place. The theme or topic refers to the issues or concepts that the film revolves around. The mood is the emotional tone of the film.

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