They connected and made new friends which they really appreciated in such a niche industry! 

"Did you have fun?" founder Susy Botello asked at the closing of each day of the festival. "A blast!" Several shouted as they walked out of the room into the beautiful marina. 

We were fascinated by the films we selected for the 11th annual edition of the festival in San Diego, where all films are shot with smartphones.

It was the coming together of people which made our 2022 edition special. Because we had to cancel our 2020 edition just weeks before it was scheduled to take place, this was our "comeback" festival edition.

Luckily, instead of postponing or cancelling in 2020, we kept the same dates, as is traditional for us, and shifted into a successful online film festival.

We received much praise in 2020 and 2021 for our efforts to bring the mobile filmmaking community together through their inspiring films and stories. Last November and December, we began to see signs that things were opening up for events in San Diego. Regardless of the expectations, we focused on the experience for attendees. 

Bringing people together to connect was something we've been doing since we held our inaugural edition. 

IMFF 2023 promo Filmmakers Marina

Photo: Dean Curry Photography.
Left to right back row: Cooper Friedman, Madison Friedman (front), Quinn Friedman, Niles Larson, Caroline Spence, James Smith, Kelly Calabrese, Dave Calabrese, Randy Zuniga, Julia Zuniga, Alison Kohlhardt; Center front row: Clint Clark (left), Preston Meneses (right).



Jennifer Zhang who won the Best Feature Film Award 2021with Charon made it to the film market at Cannes. She attended the 2022 edition as one of the judges on the feature film panel. Also attending, were feature filmmakers Ryan and Brandie McDonald. Their feature film Married and Loving It! was part of the 2020 edition and they presented a mobile filmmaking workshop this year. 

Levi Austin Morris' short film The Tea was part of the 2020 edition. Levi was a participating filmmaker with another short film he produced for our 2015 edition.

It was a inspiring for us to bring together filmmakers from the 2020 and 2021 online editions to celebrate mobile smartphone filmmaking with the 2022 edition attending participants. Not to mention, celebrating their accomplishments during our Red Carpet Extravaganza! held Sunday, May 1. Levi has just completed his feature film shot with iPhone, Paralysis.

We were grateful to everyone who came from UK, New York, Utah, Los Angeles and San Diego. Not in the photo above were Rookie Award Filmmakers Elina Madison and  Linda Palmer.

The winners for this year's 2022 edition are listed on our official awards page.

Watch our event video which shares the mobile filmmaking celebration.



Founder and festival director Susy Botello, wrote an article in our Smartphone Filmmaking publication, that shares what's been happening in the film distribution industry. A lot of people have not heard because it's happened backstage, behind the curtains. If you are an independent filmmaker shooting a feature film with any smartphone, be inspired by what you read in the article. It's big news! Distributors like Amazon Prime and others, prefer features to be 89 minutes in length.

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,[2][3] the American Film Institute[4] and the British Film Institute,[5] a feature film runs for more than 40 minutes (



The International Mobile Film Festival has several new competitions in its 12th edition 2023. Those are listed on our Rules page and include a short narrative film screenplay competition (4-8 pages) and a Smartphone Photo contest which challenges you to submit photos that tell a story with one frame, a photo. The photography contest is similar to what you would expect a photo contest to be but adds the story element to your photography using any smartphone camera. Feature Films remain as they have been, narrative (40-120 minutes). However, new in 2023, for the first time since 2013, the length of a short film, with the exception of The Rookie Award (1-5 minutes), has changed. The short film competition is now accepting films 3-10 minutes in length!


International Mobile Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world's #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.


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