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A film festival with a difference; tiny, and viewable alone July 11, 2006

Posted by fredericknoronha in Digital content.
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From clunky technology to produce film, to digital solutions. Now, there’s even an international portable film festival, and its Australian promoters are keen to see a wider participation from India.

The International Portable Film Festival (IPFF) calls itself the world’s first completely portable film festival, existing exclusively for portable video devices including iPods, 3G phones, PlayStation Portables and other devices.

It is delivered through a videocast so there are “no cinemas, no queues, no closed doors, no e-scalpers and no barriers to audiences seeing the films they want, when they want”.

This festival is “absolutely free and completely portable”.

Some 122 film entries have been received so far for IPFF 2006. The countries represented are: Australia, Netherlands, USA, Romania, Canada, Austria, Hungary, England, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.

Festival managing director Simon Goodrich (25) told this blogger: “India is more than ready for the International Portable Film Festival. With over one million downloads per day to mobile phones, with the largest English-speaking audience in the world and the biggest film market, India is absolutely central to a festival like this.”

“If any country is ready in this world, India is it,” said Goodrich, who also co-founded the event. Do you think this logic holds?

He added that they have met with groups such as MAUJ and Hugama Mobile in Sydney Australia earlier this month.

Mauj is an India centric mobile games developer and wireless content provider. Headed by Arun Gupta, the Tardeo (Mumbai)-based firm deals in mobile content and application (games, wallpapers, ringtones, news, matrimonial), mobile software and services (middleware, roaming applications, SMS gatesways) and mobile media solutions (advertising and branding).

Mahalaxmi (Mumbai)-based Hungama Mobile calls itself “a leading provider of mobile marketing applications with intrinsic expertise attached with mobile technology, communication and interactivity”.

He added: “We were very impressed with the way that content for portable devices is being developed and taken up by Indian audiences. We would love to collaborate with local filmmakers there and we would love to move the IPFF to Mumbai or Delhi in the coming years.”

Ayesha Madganvkar, a student of Goan origin currently in Australia, an intern at the IPFF says: “We’re trying to contact filmmakers, press, universities, magazines and others in India and tell them about the festival.”

IPFF focuses on, pun intended, “precious little films” and “films that look good small”. Its promoters are also interested in “films that give you glimpses into life from the oddest angles and the farthest corners of the globe.”

Andrew Apostola and Simon Goodrich, the creators of the festival, are both known for their work with independent media in Australia and for establishing SYN FM, the world’s largest youth-run radio station.

They are big on promoting digital literacy and digital learning in schools, this led to a push for an ‘under-18’ category for young filmmakers.

“It (telling stories through the portable medium is) really is a different way of viewing and the scope for exploration, experimentation and innovation is enormous,” say the event’s organisers when asked what sets them apart from the 1200+ estimated film festivals being organised around the globe.

“Portable” film has been criticised for its “solitary practice” — for the most part, it is viewed alone, as an individual. But the organisers say people who own portable devices often “form part of a community and are united through the process of owning and using that device”.

For instance, an iPod can be plugged into a TV.

The audience is potentially huge. Even those without portable devices can participate. The IPFF site portablefilmfestival.com will allow downloading of films directly to your computer or by subscribing to a RSS feed that will continually update your film collection.

Films can be viewed in your preferred movie player (Winamp, Quicktime, Windows Media Player or other free software tools) much in the same way as content can be watched through portable video devices.

There are an estimated 220 million people subscribed to broadband globally. For instance, ifilm.com attracts 10 million viewers per month, downloading 30 million short films.

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A film festival with a difference; tiny, and viewable alone


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