• iPhone Film Festival Winners -

    With numerous film festivals held each year in cities large and small around the world, there are festivals out there for all sizes and shapes of films, filmmakers and their film loving fans. Among the latest are the mobile phone film festivals.

    According to Hammad Zaidi (Filmthreat.com, Sept. 21. 2010)

    “Film festivals are like rabbits; every time you turn around they’re multiplying all around you. There are over 4,000 film festivals worldwide – with at least 1,628 of them in the United States alone. That’s about 1,000 more in the U.S.A. than there were in 2004.”

    “While there are no more than a handful of film festivals worldwide with the ability to change your life and tax bracket overnight, (Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, Venice) there are several “regional” festivals that may help you hone your film’s release strategy.” 

    “Yes, I know; all you really want to do is walk the red carpet at Cannes, win the Palme d‘Or, and sell your ridiculously captivating, generation-defining work of cinematic art to a goliath movie studio for $16 million. Then you want to fly back home just in time to see your picture on the cover of Daily Variety as the major studios fight over your services. Of course you want this. Everybody does, and there’s nothing wrong with striving for greatness.”

    “But, while most filmmakers expect to hit a grand slam on their first swing, they forget that all they really need to do is to get in the game … Regional film festivals can help you get in the game.” 

    In the last couple of years since Zaidi made these comments another kind of film festival has emerged to help filmmakers get into the game in the form of festivals for films produced for and/or on mobile platforms.

    Quite popular internationally, especially in countries where smart phones have been available far longer than in the United States, mobile film festivals have started to make inroads here, too.

    In the US, the iPhone Film Festival (IFF) was the first devoted specifically to iPhones and has been one of the most successful.

    First held in April 2011, again in October 2011, and most recently in May 2012, the IFF is picking up steam.

    “When we started IFF our biggest concern was getting enough films to compete, now at IFF3 our biggest concern is we can only award one first place winner,” says Ruben Kazantsev, who co-founded the festival with his partner, Renata Rinyu …

    “As more filmmakers adopt the iPhone as a bona-fide camera, online festivals have sprung up to showcase their work …”

    “Our success,” says Kazantsev, is a direct result of our passion for the filmmakers … we know most of our winners on a first name basis, and we go out of our way to push them to succeed …” (Tony Myers, smartmoviemaking.com, May 28, 2012).

    Among other things, the IFF submission rules specify that:

    – The film must be shot with an iPhone,  iPod Touch or iPad to be eligible for a prize

    – Films shorter than 3 minutes are classified as a short films, films longer as features

    – Multiple iPhone and iPod Touch devices can be used

    – Any software can be used for video and audio editing

    – Any software can be used for color correction or special effects

    – External microphones, wide angle lenses, lighting, tripods, etc. can be used

    “THE HAUNTING AT DANFORD CABIN by the Genshi Media Group won the grand prize award at IFF3 for the combined overall excellence of its storyline, technical difficulty and creativity.

    The prize included $2,000 in studio services at Filmlook, a Zgrip iPhone Jr., TouchTec Gaspar gloves, and a Steadicam Smoothie, among a long list of other things. (For a complete list of prizes see iphoneff.com/iff3.)

    Four awards were given this spring at IFF3:

    (1) Grand Prize – Best Animation:  THE HAUNTING AT DANFORD CABIN, Genshi Media Group

    (2) Best Film:  SYNC, Alberto Corral

    (3) Best Music Video:  KILLING TIME, All The Pretty Cars

    (4) Best Cinematography:  YEARLAPSE, ’11|NYC TO LONDON, Zsolt Haraszti

    To view the winning IFF3 films visit iphoneff.com …

    Why not try your hand at creating a film with your iPhone? You have plenty of time before IFF4. The deadline is November 1st, 2012.

    If you’re interested in finding out about some of the other mobile film festivals out there, check out the great list Tony Myers has recently compiled at smartmoviemaking.com.