New Mobile Filmmaking Challenge

We have been challenging people to make films with smartphones for years. We began publicizing our idea in 2009. We were asking professionals and novices alike to make a movie using their mobile phone. We told people that we would screen their films in a traditional film festival with a red carpet award ceremony and they could present their films on the big screen. The only thing they needed to do was use their mobile phones as cameras, in order to qualify. We promised that their cost to submit their films would be free for them and we plan to keep it that way in order to provide the opportunity to anyone of any age, experience or budget, anywhere in the world.

We finally found a supporting venue early in 2012 just before we planned to hold our film festival in 2012. Since then, we have been exposing every human being around the world who made a film exclusively using mobile phones as cameras who wants to be a part of our film festivals. Each year, the quality of films has been better and we received more entries.

Our first call for films limited the films to 3 minutes total and no less than one minute. We have increased that to five minutes and no less than one minute since MFF2013.

We still have the same rules. You must shoot the films with mobile phones. You don’t have to capture the audio with a phone. You don’t have to edit your films on the phone. You can use apps as long as they don’t make editing decisions for you. We will accept just about any genre including experimental.

We feel 5 minute films are a tough call because to tell a story within that timeframe is not easy. We know the attention span of the world today is shorter than it has ever been too.

You can use traditional film equipment and modify it to attach your phone as many filmmakers have done. You can also use software to add special effects on your computer or improve the quality of your film. Today, there are accessories and apps specifically manufactured to use for mobile filmmaking. Some will work with any smartphone and some are limited to specific phones and platforms such as the two most popular: IOS and Android.

MFF2016 is our 5th annual film festival which takes place in San Diego, California. We received over one hundred films and selected 42 to officially screen and compete during the event which takes place the last weekend of April this year, April 30 & May 1.

Our traditional competition of five minute maximum mobile short films allows a great number of filmmakers to screen their films on a big screen and benefit from the opportunity of being part of an international film festival.

Smartphone Slate 022016

Beginning with next year’s International Mobil Film Festival™ however, we are adding a new challenge for the world to participate and compete in. Our film festival has always been exclusive to films shot with mobile phones only. The mobile phone is the one and only mobile device everyone around the world has access to. In some parts of the world it is the only device people can afford to benefit from the internet and communication. We focus on that because we want to create a unique and exclusive competition to every human being in the world and the mobile phone allows us the widest reach.

Our new challenge is exclusive to films shot with mobile phones as well. The same rules apply, for the most part. The difference is that it will be open to mobile “feature” films which are between 20 minutes and 60 minutes in length. We will only select five films, no matter how many we receive. The submissions will be free, so we know a lot of people are going to love the opportunity. We only allow one film per filmmaker for all the competitions. If you have been making short mobile films, you probably feel like a pro already.

We know there are a number of mobile feature films already circulating the film industry. Mobile filmmakers have proved to the film industry and the world, that mobile phones can produce great films.

The time has come to raise the challenge to include feature films. In mobile filmmaking, feature films are still shorter than the traditional film industry. We also have a plan to introduce an exclusive mobile film theater to San Diego and other parts of the world through partnerships and we know we need more feature filmmakers who shoot their films with mobile phones in order to accomplish that. We are looking for good cinematic style films and perhaps documentaries, for our film festival competition. The expectation is raised to good quality feature films shot with mobile phones that look good on big screens. We know you can do it!

We will select only five mobile feature films to screen during our film festival MFF2017 and select one winner who will receive a special trophy award.


MFF2017’s call for entries is June 19, 2016 and will end December 19, 2016. We will announce the filmmakers who make it to our traditional competition of shorts and five official mobile feature films in 2017.

Are you ready to roll with us? We know you are because you rock!

During our Q&A panel during MFF2016 we will address our plans for MFF2017 with our attendees and filmmakers. We are looking forward to your attendance. San Diego is a beautiful place to visit. Our film festival is just one more reason to make the trip or be grateful to live here. See you in April!

© 2016 S. Botello Productions™ All rights reserved.

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