Our story began long ago from a vision which came about after September 11, 2001. The vision where journalists and filmmakers would use their phone cameras to share stories. However, it did not take. In 2005 & 2006, Susan Botello began to research the idea of moving the vision forward by creating a film festival to give credibility to the vision. However, the only way to do that considering the quality of phone cameras was not realistic as she wanted to give respect to filmmakers by putting their films on a big screen and rolling out the red carpet for them. So she waited. Before the iPhone 4 came out, she decided to just do it. She believed it was just a matter of time before an HD phone camera would be available and she already knew HD cams were "good enough" for a big screen. Just as she began to form her strategy and look for support to find a venue for the festival the iPhone 4 arrived giving the world the first HD camera on a phone. Due to the phone being a smartphone she was very optimistic.
The world around her seemed to be skeptical. She was told to just make an "online" film festival but she was unwilling to have her first film festival without providing a venue and a big screen with a red carpet award ceremony. Finally, in 2012 just a few weeks before she thought she may have to postpone the dates again for the International Mobil Film Festival™ she found a venue through Grossmont College. With only a few weeks to get everything ready she was able to pull it off. MFF2012 may have been the first mobile film festival which treated mobile films and filmmakers just as any traditional film festival would do and still does by screening films on a big screen, networking, the red carpet, Q&A and an awards ceremony. It even included a mobile filmmaking workshop. Some of the filmmakers who came out arrived from Macedonia and others from Los Angeles and northern San Diego. During the film festival an announcement was made that the Mobile Film School, a non-accredited film school for mobile phone filmmaking would also be a part of S. Botello Productons' plan for moving the mobile film industry into a reality.
MFF2012 Attending Filmmakers representing Macedonia, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Today, we are looking forward to MFF2017 which includes a new competition for mobile "feature" films which are between 20-60 minutes in length. Susan believes this is going to push mobile filmmaking forward to give the industry more respect and growth. The sofistication of making mobile features is something she plans to expand as the industry itself expands the growth of mobile filmmaking all around the world. SBP considers what this film festival and others like it have done has ben to provide credibility to filmmakers who shoot their films on mobile phones by providing incentive and a venue to compete and for exposure.
The short film competition of mobile films is one to five minutes and remains a free opportunity for all "earthlings" to get a foot in the door of the film industry by sparking creativity and providing the opportunity for exposure to anyone and everyone with a mobile phone of any brand or make. Submissions for the traditional short film competiton by the International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego continues to be free so anyone can do it.
If you are a journalist and you have a smartphone you may consider submitting to the Journalism and Current Events category of our film festival which was created before MFF2012. We invite journalists to walk the red carpet free.
Our slogan: The red carpet is in your pocket!™
We are proud to have been included in Tom Cruise's Official Blog along with some of our friends who also pioneered mobile filmmakign in this article written in 2012.
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