In 2016, the International Mobile Film Festival announced a mobile feature film competition as an addition to the mobile short film competition. The first competition was for films shot with smartphones between 20 and 60 minutes long. The second year, the length was increased to official feature length between 40 and 90 minutes.
Last year, during the festival in April 2018, an announcement was introduced to filmmakers that IMFF was going to accept 10% of the total footage as aerial footage shot with drone cameras. The accepatance of the footage was an exception to the rest of the footage shot with only smartphones for both short and feature films.
One of the requirements of the feature film competition is that the films are exceptional. The festival will select no more than three feature films to compete for the Best Feature Film Award. Also, it is only accepting narrative films. *See rules for details.
Feature films are a bigger challenge for mobile smartphone filmmakers. The challenge of telling stories can be tougher on shorter films due to the creativity involved with telling stories with impact and leaving an impression in a mall amount of time. However, the challenge with feature length films has a lot to do with industry standards and the work involved. First, you need good actors to carry the story along and captivate your audience for the duration of your film. Second, there are more locations, more scenes to shoot & more elements to work with during production and post production.
What these challenges mean for a mobile phone filmmaker is related to the limitations of using smartphones as cameras, limited equipment and smaller crews and budgets. There are other challenges like limited memory and battery when using smartphones as the only camera to shoot films. These are only some of the challenges. However, someone who has built a production crew over time, has built connections in the industry and has experience in getting funding for film and television projects can explore mobile film as an experiment with access to multiple resources.
Someone equiped with simply a smartphone, a very small crew and has a very low budget is going to experience a mega filmmaking challenge. Less people to help, less funding, less resources of all levels, etc.
IMFF 2019 is going to celebrate filmmakers who took on the challenge of making a feature length film using only smartphones as cameras. Their films are exceptional captivating stories. An annoucement is coming soon about the feature mobile films and filmmakers who are going to be a part of #MFF2019SanDiego in April. IMFF will proudly screen the films during IMFF 2019 and feature their filmmakers who have already confirmed their attendance, during the International Mobile Film Festival. The festival takes place April 27 & 28, 2019.
Feature films are an immersive storytelling element in the film industry beyond short films. The feature film competition's goal is to do what the founder of the film festival set out to do in 2009 by introducing the concept of a traditional film festival for only films shot with mobile phones to inspire everyone around the world who dreamed of being a filmmaker to use their phone camera to realize that dream.
"It took a long time to prove to everyone that you can make films with your phone's camera and earn the respect of the industry. We are not quite there. But a film festival like ours had to emerge in order to entice the world to make films using their cell phones so that phone manufacturers would increase the quality of the cameras on their new phones. So we are now challenging everyone to go further. To earn the respect of the industry through feature films shot with smartphones as the quality of the cameras on the phone continues to evolve."
Save the dates in your calendar and make the trip to IMFF 2019 happening in San Diego April 27 & 28 to be a part of one of the most inspiring events of the year.
We are working on a great film festival this year. The theme for #MFF2019SanDiego is Stories!
Special guest from Global Mobile Film Awards™ Best Experimental Film 2018, Matteo Tibiletti will be in San Diego to present an honorary award to one attending filmmaker. The award is selected by participating 2018 Awardees from GMFA.
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