Sundance Institute, a champion for independent filmmakers for more than 25 years, is joining forces with the GSM Assoc. (GSMA), whose members serve more than two billion mobile phone customers across the globe, to create the Sundance Film Festival: Global Short Film Project. Sundance Institute president/founder Robert Redford unveiled the groundbreaking pilot project to showcase and extend the reach of the independent short film genre to mobile users worldwide, during a press conference at the Museum of Television & Radio in New York City.
Sundance Film Festival organizers, in conjunction with the GSMA, have commissioned six independent filmmakers to create five short films, crafted exclusively for mobile distribution. Filmmakers participating in the project have screened films at the annual Sundance Film Festival.
"Cell phones are fast becoming the 'fourth screen' medium, after television, cinema and computers," said Redford. "We feel this experiment embodies fully, our quarter-century dedication to exploring new platforms to support wider distribution of independent voices in filmmaking. We are excited about bringing this opportunity to independent filmmakers and most excited to see what they will do with it."
This pilot project is believed to be the first to commission high caliber independent filmmakers to create original stories specifically for mobile. The filmmakers who will be working with a limited budget, time and resources to make a three- to five-minute film for a small mobile screen.
"The Global Short Film Project takes us into the realms of a uniquely intimate new medium, one which holds tremendous promise for maximizing the impact and international reach of the short film genre, and in doing so serving the artists," said John Cooper, director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival and creative director for Sundance Institute, who will oversee the project.
Bill Gajda, chief marketing officer at the GSMA said, "The emergence of mobile as the fourth screen is already changing the way people are educated and entertained. This project will explore the potential of the mobile medium to deliver compelling, cinematic entertainment to a global audience on an unprecedented scale."
The six filmmakers featured in the Sundance Film Festival: Global Short Film Project are Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE - 06 SFF), Justin Lin (BETTER LUCK TOMORROW - 02 SFF), Maria Maggenti (PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS - 06 SFF), Cory McAbee (THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT - SFF 01) and Jody Hill (THE FOOT FIST WAY - SFF 06).
The Sundance Institute will exclusively premiere these new short films on the opening day of the world's biggest annual mobile event, the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona next year (Feb. 12-15, 2007). The event attracts more than 50,000 visitors annually. The films will be available for cell phone download during the congress for attendees, and for broader distribution through mobile carriers after the event.
Founded by Redford in 1981, the Sundance Institute (www.sundance.org) has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent artists through its film festival and artistic development programs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, playwrights and theatre artists. The original values of independence, creative risk-taking, and discovery continue to define and guide the work of Sundance Institute, both with U.S. artists and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world. The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for American and international independent film, held annually in Park City, Utah. The 2007 Sundance Film Festival will take place Jan. 18-28, 2007.
The GSMA is the global trade association representing 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 215 countries of the world. In addition, more than 180 manufacturers and suppliers support the association's initiatives as key partners. The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The association serves 82% of the world's mobile phone users. See: www.gsmworld.com & www.3gsmworldcongress.com.