Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Technological development: Smartphone film fest accepting submissions

A local film festival is accepting submissions of short works shot with a smartphone beginning next month.

The 2nd Olleh Smartphone Film Festival will be held from March 19 to 21 in Seoul, featuring an expanded program and cash prizes amounting to 50 million won.

The event, which began earlier this year under the auspices of telecommunications company KT, invites both professional and amateur filmmakers to share creative short stories with a running time of less than 10 minutes. Footage can be sent from Jan. 1 until Feb. 12.

“If the inaugural edition of the festival emphasized the fact that anyone could make a movie using smartphones, then the upcoming event will demonstrate how well people can create them,” said the Olleh Smartphone Film Festival organizing committee.

Ahead of the festival’s official launch this year, organizers invited 12 renowned filmmakers to make shorts using an iPhone 4. Four months later, some 500 amateurs, including middle school students, competed for prizes. The winning works were even invited to the Shanghai International Film Festival.

The second edition will divide the competition pool into professionals — those that majored in film and/or are part of the filmmaking industry — and non-professionals. The grand prizewinner will take home 20 million won and a new smartphone. Prizes of 5 million won, 3 million won and 1 million won, respectively, along with smartphones, will be awarded to the top three laureates in the two categories.

Films that enter the final round of the competition will be shown through various channels. They will be screened at Olleh Square, Gwanghwamun, and on OllehTV as well as through the festival’s official website ( and KT’s website (

Winners will also be given a chance to develop the shorts into full feature-length films, and teach as a faculty member of the Olleh Media Studio, a filmmaking academy located in Mok-dong, Seoul, equipped with post-production facilities.

“There are some 20 million smartphone users in Korea, and the film festival hopes to provide a platform for aspiring filmmakers and the latent talent,” said the festival organizers.

“What distinguishes this film festival from others is that it encourages everyone to make movies, and not just cineastes and aspiring filmmakers,” Lee Jun-ik, filmmaker and director of the festival, said in a previous interview with The Korea Times.

In addition to Lee, other renowned cineastes will take part in the event as jury members. They include video artist Park Chan-kyong, who won a Golden Bear at the Berlinale for “Night Fishing,” an iPhone movie he co-directed with his director brother Park Chan-wook; filmmakers Bong Man-dae, Yim Pil-sung and Chung Yoon-chul; as well as cinematographers Jung Jung-hoon and Jo Yong-gyu.

For details, visit

No comments: