This week in short film news, we hear the call from Africa, celebrate creativity in Pittsburgh AND Saudi Arabia, and notice that filmmakers are doing it for themselves. We begin where it
Africa calls its talents home Africa has put out a call for its cinematic talents to return home - even if it's just to submit your short film for their competition. The Africa in Motion Festival is inviting ‘African Nationals’ to submit their 30 minutes or less short films by May 31st. There is no fee to enter, and there is a cash prize, but be sure to check their eligibility as it's strictly intended to celebrate indigenous talents only.
Pittsburgh goes big and goes home In what is becoming an annual tradition, The Robinson International Short Film Competition will unveil their five winning shorts films on May 8th. The event, honoring the memory of Sanford N. Robinson Sr., is being presented by JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum. The winner receives a handsome $10,000, two runners-up will enjoy $3,000 each. Tickets are still on sale, visit: JFilmPgh.org
Bombay Sapphire wants YOU to watch
In a story from FastCompany’s Jeff Berkowich we find out that the finalists in this year’s Bombay Sapphire short film Imagination Series have been announced at the same time that JustJared releases a step-by-step guide to this year’s competition Judge Adrian Brody. Enjoy the films now (in Jeff's article link) to see how each creative team interpreted the provided script.
The Gulf crowns its next creative kings The Gulf region’s DOHA Film Institute announces last week the next round of creative cinematic talent to come out of its ever-increasingly prolific community. Four filmmakers will benefit from the new Hazawi Fund which will cover the costs of their short film productions to be shot in Qatar in the next three months. The future filmmakers to keep your eyes on will be: Nayla Al Khaja (UAE) for the movie Three; Shahad Ameen (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) for Eye and Mermaid; Faisal Al Duwaisan (Kuwait) for A Dream; and Ann Sobel & Aisha Al Muqla (Qatari Resident, Bahrain) for Shway Shway, Shoo Shoo!. For more information, visit their site
Filmmakers are doing it for themselves
Short film makers rarely speak about the other side of making a short film, distribution. Ever since the medium stopped being viable commercial entities for movie houses and theatre chains, the short film has been unfairly relegated to amateur or film school student status. Due to the many seasoned filmmakers who make phenomenal short films - and the growing interest in their commercial potential - there is a very active and busy marketplace for short films around the world, mainly in broadcasting and now online.
Putting a public face to this otherwise behind-the-scenes process of turning a short film into profit, a number of filmmakers are sharing their stories. Canada’s Jeff Cheba Stearns recently posted about his money making, the UK’s Gemma Atkinson & Fred Grace have posted a series of online vlogs about their distribution journey and Washington DC’s Ivan Kander wrote a comment-friendly piece on the Changing Game of Online Distribution.
LITTLE COUNTRIES HIT THE BIG TIME In some of the smallest corners of our planet, the short film is getting recognition. Last week, the first ever Kathmandu Short Film Festival concluded with an award for the best short film going to SHUNYA. Meanwhile, the first ever Bhutanese Film Festival kicked off in Budapest, Hungary. The festival showed the extraordinary growth of Bhutanese film and allowed for talk back Q&A’s with its biggest names in local filmmakers.
AIRLINES VIE FOR MORE THAN YOUR BUTTS IN THEIR SEATS Seems the airlines want more than just your ticket purchase, they want to offer the best in short films too. Last week, two major airline carriers announced a call for entries for their short film competition. Air Canada’s Enroute Film Festival, now in its 7th year, lead the requests with a special preference towards the newbies. They’re partial to beginners – so if you’re a young buck Canuck studying film or media in any part of the world, you’re eligible for their $5,000 prize.
Cathay Pacific, however, just partnered with London’s Terracotta Film Festival to offer a prize package specific to all UK filmmakers who can weave a briefer on the ‘Asia in London’ experience. The prize for this competition is a much more worldly trip for 2 to Hong Kong with 3 nights accommodation in their luxury partner hotel.
DUDE, WHO STOLE MY GO-PRO?
The rise of the go-pro film has given youtube endless hours of free content, and now festivals are getting in on the game, and for all the right reasons! Australia’s Byron Bay Surf Festival announced last week that they’ve added a short film competition to their annual event. In reference to the world famous ‘Broken Buckets’ surf region down under, they’ve pinned their theme on Broken Buckets – Barrel Fest. Fasten your helmet mounts kids, and get your films rolling.
CANADA LETS ITS SHORTS DO THE TALKING Canuck filmmakers are reaping the benefits of the millions of dollars poured into short film production in this country every year. In what is appearing to be a growing interest in Canadian film, two annual events announced their short-listed favorites. The now nationally televised awards show for the best in Canadian short film, theCBC Short Film FaceOff announced their national favorites this week. Also on a national level, the Telefilm Canada Not Short on Talent program which takes the best in Canadian shorts to the markets of Cannes and Clermont-Ferrand (a necessary requirement if Canadian shorts want to make any sales in the busy economy of international short films). Both programs remain year round on our Film Lovers page.
TRIBECA CROWNS WINNER
Ageless movie star Sophia Loren must be very proud of her all grown up baby boy, Italy'sEdoardo Ponti(father is famed producer Carlo Ponti) picked up the top prize for short film last week at theTribeca Film Festival.
Seems entirely fitting that the anarchist of the United Kingdom are tossing out the old and experimenting with the new in their current fascination with the short film medium.
Announced this week, the Virgin Media Shorts 2013 has amassed a serious-looking group of judgy talent searchers ready to rummage through cine-hopefuls. The fancy jury has an important task ahead of them. The winner of this 3rd annual event wins a whopping 30,000 pounds. You have to be a resident of the UK, 18 years old and enter before July 18th.
Meanwhile, the Four4 competition is back with their short-attention-span competition. This year, gore-inspired filmmakers are asked to compete with their most gripping 16 second short (four frames of four seconds only). The prize for this one seems appropriately brief as well, with a bum-slapping 1,000 pounds up for grabs. Brit horror, cine-wierdos, you have until May 31st to submit and have to be over the age of 18 for this one too.
Don’t despair yunguns, Belfast, Ireland is hosting the Cinemagic Festival specific to the fresh-faced and un-bittered under-25 set from around the world. The Cinemagic Young Filmmakers 2013 is looking for your short film – on any overly-dramatic, teeny topic. Enter to win by October 25th and earn the chance to be amongst the brave next generation of film masters.
SMARTPHONE FILM COMPETITIONS GRIP KOREA Just when you thought the screen couldn’t get any smaller, the Arirang Korea Smartphone Festival joined the ever-growing chorus of Asian smartphone film competitions. You have until the end of this month to submit your smartest smartphone short for a chance to win a little bit of coin and, you guessed it, a new smartphone! Submissions allowed from around the world, be sure to read their rules.
AFLAMNAH – CROWD FUNDING FOR MIDDLE EASTERN FILMMAKERS Forget Indiegogo, ignore Kickstarter. If you want throw your money behind short films from the middle east, bookmark AFLAMNASH, the new crowd-funder for middle eastern fare. Announced during last week’s Gulf Film Festival Industry Forums the not-so-catchy-titled site allows you to support the ideas, art, cinema coming from a part of the world most westerners wish they understood better. To find out more about the AFLAMNAH, visit their budding site here: http://www.aflamnah.com/
RIDLEY SCOTT AND MACHINIMA MARRY FOR LOVE, NOT MONEY Announced last month, Blade Runner maestro Ridley Scott has partnered his commercial production company – RSA – with online content pushers Machinima.
Together, they’ll keep the gaping maw of hungry boys fed their regular dose of manliness. Scott’s team will produce 12 short sci-fi films for their male 18-24 audience, hoping that some of the characters will turn into the t-shirt/slurpee cup collectible must-have of the season. They’ll monitor the chatter in the forums to see which concept is dork-worthy enough for franchise development.