Summertime Mobile Filmmaking

This year, the summer is not like the others for most people around the world. We are all dealing with many issues including a lingering global pandemic. But there is one thing that sticks around…stories.

The best way to share stories is video and film and we have all witnessed smartphone videos moving front and center since May 2020. Our company continues to drive the message that mobile filmmaking deserves its place in the mainstream filmmaking and video industry. So as we continue our journey, let’s take a look at what we are doing this month, in June.

First, we wish to bring your attention to a virtual conference we are sponsoring in San Diego. The LockDownCon takes place Friday thru Sunday, June 26, 27 & 28, 2020.

International Mobile Film Festival founder & Director Susy Botello will be hosting a fun panel, “Filmmaking with Mobile Phones” with IMFF Honorary Ambassadors Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow. Jed and Mark starred in the New Zealand feature film shot with the iPhone “Blue Moon.” The film was written and directed by Stef Harris.

Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow are also best known for their roles in “The Hobbit” films by Peter Jackson. Our panel takes place online on Sunday, June 28 at 2pm. You can watch it on the LockDownCon website streaming live. Other panels include personalities from the comics, gaming and film industry. We hope to see you there! We are grateful to the organizers, Neal and Jana Hallford for inviting us to be a part of their first virtual conference. The Hallfords are sponsors of IMFF with Swords and Circuitry Studios.

Watch the trailer for “Blue Moon.”

Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow star in “Blue Moon” feature film shot with iPhone in New Zealand.

International Mobile Film Festival 2021

Also this month, on June 19th we opened the doors to allow every human in the universe to submit smartphone films to the 2021 edition of the International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego. Can you believe it’s our tenth annual film festival?

There are two competitions: Short Films and Feature Films.

The short film competition continues to drive the opportunity for everyone with a 1 to 5 minute film. The films must be shot with mobile phones only. However, we have been accepting areal drone footage of not more than 10% of the total duration of your film. All the details are on the Rules page on the festival website.

The feature film competition has raised the bar for filmmakers this year. Instead of limiting the maximum length of films to 90 minutes we went all the way to 120 minutes. We are only accepting narrative films. Read all the details in the Rules page for this competition on our website. Just as the short film competition, it must be shot with only mobile phones and allows 10% aerial footage shot with drone cameras.

There is also a new category called Screendance! This category was inspired by Jamiel Laurence in Glasgow, who won Second Place in the 2020 edition of the International Mobile Film Festival.

We want to bring attention to the Community Stories category because stories told from within a community, or culture, are something we’ve felt very strongly about since 2009, when we first launched IMFF. With the access of a film and video camera by everyone who has a phone, we feel this brings the storytelling opportunity to all groups and communities around the world. But who better to share a “Community Story” than a member of the community?

Each year, we choose a film to be featured in our Community Stories program during our annual film festival. Last year, Alexandra Guillossou submitted her film, “The Deepest Cut” about her brother with MS and her family. Alexandra came to San Diego from Missouri to share a special Q&A presentation after the screening of the film.

The deadlines for each competition are as follows: Short Film Competition deadline is November 19, 2020 and Feature Film Competition deadline is October 19, 2020. We only accept films through

Listen to SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking “Smartphone Films San Diego 2021” episode 83 and listen to Susy Botello and San Diego IMFF Ambassador, Aaron Nabus discuss the open call for IMFF 2021 films. We discuss categories and share some mobile filmmaking tips and make a couple announcements.

About Susy Botello:

Owner/CEO of S. Botello Productions™ (2006) created International Mobile Film Festival (2009) as the centerpiece of an organic strategy to expand and support mobile filmmaking as a distinctive art form worldwide. She also created programs like the Mobile Film School (2012) and is host of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking (2017).

Susy is passionate about storytelling and film. She is an avid speaker and storyteller spreading the message of the mobile film community worldwide.

‘At the center of everything we experience is a story. Stories are always evolving. The only beginning and end to a story is the one that is told or the one we perceive.’

Susy Botello, January 2, 2020

© 2020 S. Botello Productions™ All rights reserved.