If you had to guess how many film festivals there were exclusively for smartphone films, how many would you think? 1 or 2? 5? 10 maybe? I’ll give you a clue – you couldn’t count them all on two hands!
With the increased popularity in smartphone filmmaking - especially since we all relied on them so much in lockdown - it's no wonder that there’s a growing industry to celebrate and highlight what they can do. All over the world, festivals dedicated to the art of smartphone filmmaking are popping up. Maybe you'd like to submit your own films after you’ve finished our training or maybe you just want some inspiration. Either way, here’s a rundown of a few of the fests I’ve handpicked to put in your diaries.
Event Date: 26th April
London, United Kingdom
From the team who won the first ever academy award with a smartphone film, Victoria Mapplebeck and Adam Gee founded the SMart Film Fest in 2021. A brand new international film festival to celebrate the creativity and diversity of smartphone filmmaking. Kudos to them for providing mentoring sessions to winners and even offering distribution opportunities!
Mobile Journalism Awards
Event Date: 30th April
Illinois, United States
This is a festival for all the journos out there making smartphone content. The Mobile Journalism (MoJo) Awards boasts a high-standard with an emphasis on cinematic, non-fiction storytelling in journalism. They offer $500 for being selected and the best films are curated permanently in the Smart Film School collection. It's such a cool idea.
Event Date: November 2022 (TBA - Check back for an update)
Mobile Motion (MoMo) is an international smartphone film festival based in Switzerland. With categories such as Best Screenplay, Best Music Video, and Best Feature Film, I love that MoMo really goes to town on showcasing the range of content you can make with a smartphone. They also have an active community on Reddit with fantastic posts to check out.
SmartFone Flick Fest
Event Date: 26th November
SmartFone FIick Fest, better abbreviated as SF3, is an Australian-based international smartphone film festival with a few stand-out categories, including their 360/VR category and their 'Kids Award'. The latter is a fantastic platform to encourage and showcase the talent of young filmmakers under the age of 16. Art is incredibly important for younger generations to access and express themselves and I think it's great that SF3 offers this outlet.
Event Date: December 2022 (TBA - Check back for an update)
An international smartphone film festival focusing on the art of social media videography. DigiTo exists as a platform for all the social media and marketing managers out there who proudly wave their TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook flags. They offer cash prizes and writing workshops to winners; a tempting incentive to all those wanting to step up their social media game in 2022!
Are there any I've missed? Let us know if you've got one we can add or better yet - let us know if you've submitted or been selected in one.