SmartFone Flick Fest

Film, Film festivals
An extreme close up of an eyeball
Photograph: Supplied Invasion is one of the mobile-shot films debuting at the SmartFone Flick Fest

Time Out says

In the year 2020, smartphones have really come into their own for filmmakers navigating lockdown

Since the less-than-mobile bricks of the ‘80s, the supercomputers we all carry in our pockets have evolved beyond recognition. So much so that famous filmmakers have used smartphones to shoot entire movies, from Steven Soderberg‘s Claire Foy-starring thriller Unsane to Los Angeles-set trans street worker comedy Tangerine.

A little closer to home, the sixth annual SmartFone Flick Fest (October 9-18) called on Australians (and international friends alike) to contribute mobile or tablet-shot and edited movies to their latest line-up. And in true digital pivot-style, they introduced a new category this year, SF3 Iso, that asked for three-minute or less films shot within local lockdown rules.

They received north of 300 entries, with films from as far afield as El Salvador, Bulgaria and China. Now, with the pandemic front and centre in so many minds, SF3 is sharing 44 Isolation / Lockdown stories in its new zeitgeist-nailing ISO category. Each are 3 minutes or less and shot within local lockdown laws. The great news is you’ll be able to see all of them online, with a highlights package to be screened at the Event Cinemas George Street on October 10.

“The ISO category is a fascinating snapshot and time capsule of these significant and challenging times,” says festival co-founder Alison Crew. “We can’t wait to share this year’s cream of the crop of smartphone films from around the world.” 

Festival Ambassador and filmmaker Phillip Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence, Dead Calm) said that the Iso category, “is one of the most important film festival awards of the year, because it’s going to be a historical record of this strange time in our world and all our lives.”

Fellow ambassador Kerry Armstrong (Neighbours, Pawno) said she loved that all you need is a smartphone. “There’s no budget constraints, there’s a great deal of freedom and inventiveness.”

Amongst the finalists, Michèle Jedlicka from country NSW near Delungra shot furry friend forever home-focused short Closed for Christmas on a Samsung S10 5G. Australian actor and comedian Lee'at Bruhl captured Australian Hotel Quarantine literally on an iPhone 7 Plus while literally in hotel quarantine at the Marriott in Circular Quay after returning home from New York. “I answered the door in full wig and costume when a hotel staff member dropped off toilet paper one day because I was in the middle of filming,” she says. “They must have thought I was totally crazy. I wonder if it was the weirdest thing they’ve seen in hotel quarantine? Somehow I suspect not.”

You can find out more here. And if you feel inspired, why not start thinking about what you could enter next year? Sure beats scrolling through incessant selfies on Insta.

Want more movie news? Take a sneaky peak at the British Film Festival line-up.


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