Arts & Culture

On the small screen

The Coast and Eastlink host the second annual Smartphone Film Festival

written by Paola Tolentino
April 3, 2016 10:07 am

The title says it all: it’s a film festival where everything has been shot on a smartphone.

That means “that your film must be shot on any brand of smartphone or tablet, meaning no footage from DSLRs, camcorders, GoPros, point-and-shoot cameras or that sort of not-a-smartphone thing,” as the rules of the contest state. Other than that, the limits are pretty much defined by your imagination and determination to write, shoot and edit a film.

“We started the festival out of pride for our filmmakers in this region, but also get people out having some creative fun with these amazingly impressive and devices we carry around with us all day!” said  Lindsay Cory of The Coast.

It is true that Halifax has one of the largest filmmaking scenes in the Maritimes. The city hosts the Atlantic Film Festival every fall, as well as a variety of smaller film festivals through the year, and the Atlantic Filmmaker’s Co-op dedicates itself to helping out both aspiring and professional filmmakers in the area. The solidarity of Halifax’s Filmmaking community was demonstrated last year with #savensfilm, a movement to protest film tax-credit cuts.

The Smartphone Film Festival is a bit more accessible to those looking to get into film—there’s not a huge amount of pressure to purchase and learn about expensive equipment, and the genres can be as varied as they want to be, from dramas to stop-motion animation. The lack of an age limit is also more appealing for younger filmmakers, especially when the prize for the best film is a new smartphone from Eastlink.

“You have this totally capable machine in your pocket and you have the creative mind to make it happen,” Cory said. “If you have always wanted to make a film, now’s your chance! Try out some new apps to make your vision a reality!”

The screening of the films will be hosted at Central Library’s Paul O’Regan Hall on Apr. 22. For more information, see spff.ca.