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Directors challenged to create pocket sized films for mobiles


Before long, the majority of mobile phones will have the capacity to show short films. If you want to be one of the pioneering filmmakers to make their mark in this new genre then Pocket Shorts, a new initiative supported by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), the organisation that supports UK creativity and innovation, could be for you.

Pocket Shorts is a supportive environment, offering both generic filmmaking and technology training, while financially supporting the production of a short, or series of short films.

Filmmakers can apply for up to £2,000 in funding to create innovative short films in a new genre that is viewable on mobile phones and distributed via Bluetooth, WAP and Multimedia Messages (MMS).

Pocket Shorts is aimed at filmmakers who have graduated in the last five years, and now live in Yorkshire and Humberside, the North West and the North East. It is a partnership between NESTA and Short Circuits, who screen and commission short films, with Oyster Partners and Carbon Based Games as technology partners.

The initiative will develop this new distribution channel that will allow audiences to download the final films online for free or send it to other phones via MMS or Bluetooth. This will in turn create a new business model by providing a space for companies to emerge and promote their work to a global audience.

Pocket Shorts is an extension of NESTA’s Creative Pioneer Programme, which is designed to encourage the growth of a new generation of creative entrepreneurs. It will award up to eight individuals funding of up to £2,000, training sessions in filmmaking and the technology being used and an individual industry professional mentor. At the end of each project awardees will have produced one 1 minute long film (downloadable only from a WAP site) or four 15 second long films (which can sent from phones as well as downloaded).

The winners will be showcased at key UK film festivals in 2005.

For more information, and details on how to apply, go to The deadline for applications is 5.30pm Friday 29 October 2004.

Prior to applying, interested filmmakers can find out more at workshops to be held in each of the three regions. Here, filmmakers can come and see examples of short moving image work, a demonstration of video phones, and find out about the distribution channels for the finished films.

Hugo Manassei, Director of the Creative Pioneer Programme at NESTA, said: ”Why follow the traditional routes and work as a runner for a film company or fight tooth and nail to promote your work independently at film festivals when Pocket Shorts offers an alternative? You could be one of the first pioneering filmmakers to work in a new genre that will continue to grow as fast as the accompanying mobile phone technology does. The support and training offered by Short Circuits as well as the provision of a mentor will also give you new methods of producing and promoting your films and let you develop your creativity.”

Joseph Meaney | alfa
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