China Mobile, the world's largest mobile service provider, is supporting the competition.
BEIJING – Organizers of the first mobile phone film competition at The 14th Shanghai International Film Festival will accept submissions until April 30 and announce the final selections in mid-May, offering the winners in June more than $15,300 in cash prizes.
The SIFF, which runs from June 11-19, is working on the festival with China Mobile, the largest telecommunications provider in the world, with more than 600 million mobile phone users.
Organizers are encouraging films of five minutes in various genres, such as drama, action, comedy, science fiction and documentary.
Mobile phones have for the average Chinese become a powerful tool in a country of more than 450 million Internet users, as citizens capture corruption often not reported in the official media and post it to the Web for all to see until censors take the viral videos down.
But the mobile phone film competition’s aim is not political, but “to enable more young filmmakers the opportunity to display their talent on the international stage,” organizers said.
Just as the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television must approve all films the SIFF will show in theaters, so too will the mobile films be vetted carefully.
To make it easy for amateurs to participate, organizers lowered the bar for required filming equipment and the technical standards in hopes of inspiring creativity on the smallest of screens.
In addition to cooperation with China Mobile, the festival will also work with a number of film and television companies to help develop the new festival program.
Winners of the mobile film contest will be given the chance to participate in SIFF master classes and their works will be recommended by SIFF organizers for participation in upcoming short film festivals around the world.