Mobile Film Festivals News, , , , , — June 13, 2012 9:38 — 1 Comment

indieFone Film Festival becomes a serious player on mobile scene

Luis Juarez,  filmmaking,  indieFone Film Festival, film festivals, iphone, smartphones

Luis Juarez is putting his filmmaking experience to good use as founder of the indieFone Film Festival

Exclusive interview with Luis E Juarez, founder of the indieFone Film Festival, on how it is expanding from its early Latin American roots


The indieFone Film Festival (iFFF) has established a growing reputation with Latin filmmakers since its inception a couple of years ago and is now looking to broaden its remit with an event this year that is open to everyone — with an iPhone that is.

In what is becoming a crowded ‘iPhone Festival’ market, the iFFF looks like one of the better ones to become involved in, not least because it is offering a $10,000 first prize with the chance of making a reality show.

“The top seven filmmakers chosen to participate will have a lot of exposition in our reality show and it will be a learning experience,” says iFFF founder Luis E Juarez. “They’ll also leave the set having five film projects under their names, plus three IMDB credits. The reality show will broadcast locally in Los Angeles, and also on some channels in Latin America, and world-wide through a YouTube channel and through our iPhone and iPad apps.”

Juarez is originally from Guatemala, where he was involved in the local music scene. He moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue a filmmaking career and graduated from the New York Film Academy with a MFA in filmmaking in 2008.

Although the iFFF was established in 2010, Juarez actually started an iPhone film festival in 2009, the ‘MoviPhone Film Fest’, but ran into legal issues with moviefone.com so made a fresh start with the indieFone Film Festival.

“I think that this new movement is growing everyday, when I first started my festival in 2009, there weren’t any apps available [for filmmaking], so I thought about creating an app to control manual exposure, and in a few months someone had already made it. Now we have more than five apps that allow the uses to control the iPhone’s video camera manually and the curious thing is now Apple has added the ’lock exposure and focus feature’ to iOS5, which means that Apple has noticed this new movement is growing.”

He says that the feedback to the iFFF has been extremely positive, so far there have been three festivals, especially in Latin America where the iPhone is more accessible than a SLR or film camera.

For what is effectively the fourth indieFone Film Festival, Juarez says there is just one category, the Narrative Short where films submitted can be in any genre and a maximum of five minutes in length. “The jury will then select the seven best entries judging them by their story, and then they will go on to participate in the ’indieFone’s Reality Show’ where they will have to compete by shooting several projects like a music video, a short documentary, and three shortfilms,” he says.

The deadline for submission is 21 December 2012 and winners will be announced on 15 January 2013, with plans to produce the indieFone Reality Show six months later.

Juarez comes across as passionate and genuine and for the jury he has recruited a handful of serious and respected filmmakers including Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James from Majek Pictures.

“I hope this festival inspires many young people to use their iOS devices or smartphones as filmmaking tools,” he says, “to show them that there is no need to have a large budget or professional film gear to start making their stories. My goal is to awaken this creativity that exists in our new generation and that they use the resources that technology makes available to them to make their dreams come true.”

As a filmmaker with over four years experience Juarez says he is confident that mobile filmmaking is not a simple fad that will wane once the novelty of shooting on an iPhone wears off.

“This is the best way to pre-visualize ideas without any cost. Filming and editing in the same place used to be impossible, but now you can be on location before producing your project on a grander scale and pre-visualize the shoot list and the dynamics of it in editing, now isn’t that incredible?”

Here are the guidelines on how to enter the indieFone Film Festival.

● Shoot a short *film with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and compete to be one of the top seven filmmakers chosen to participate in our reality show with a winning prize of $10K

* The short film may NOT EXCEED 5 minutes

● Deadline for submissions: 21 December 2012

● Your short film MUST be produced solely for indieFone Film Festival. To read the rules in full  click here.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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