Barcelona, Spain: Today, at a press conference at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Sundance Institute and GSM Association (GSMA) unveiled the five original ‘made for mobile’ short films commissioned as part of the Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project. In one of the first collaborations of its kind, six new and established independent filmmakers created short films designed to be viewed in a mobile environment.
Announced in November, 2006 by Robert Redford, Founder and President of Sundance Institute, the Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project was created to showcase and extend the reach of the independent short film genre to mobile users worldwide.
The five films are being shown exclusively at the GSMA's Congress this week with wide distribution to mobile audiences beginning February 15. Visit www.sundance.org/globalshortfilms for info on how to access these five original shorts for your mobile phone, and share them with your friends.
“We hope that the Global Short Film project inspires filmmakers and artists to think outside of the realm of traditional venues for cinema, and experiment with mobile as an intimate new avenue – with global potential - for their work,” said John Cooper, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival and Creative Director for Sundance Institute.
“I believe mobile viewers will be surprised and delighted by the diversity of these films,” said Bill Gajda, Chief Marketing Officer at the GSMA. “Ranging from the comic to exquisite, the radically different creative styles of storytelling play extraordinarily well to the unique, viral nature of the mobile medium.”
The Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project films are:
A SLIP IN TIME (Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)–A motion study of slapstick comedy.
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD (Directed by Jody Hill)–A corporate worker calls in sick. In his quest to liberate himself from the daily grind he embarks on a quest for freedom by learning how to skateboard.
¡LA REVOLUCION DE IGUODALA! (Directed by Justin Lin)–¡La Revolucion de Iguodala! tracks one man’s passionate message as it travels through various forms and agendas.
LOS VIAJES DE KING TINY (Directed by Maria Maggenti)–LOS VIAJES DE KING TINY is about a small dog who takes off by himself while his owner is at work. Set in Los Angeles, King Tiny travels the city but is confronted by his own personal demons in the process.
RENO (Directed by Cory McAbee) –A singing cowboy brags about his travels through Nevada on a Honda 50 to a store security camera.
All the directors behind these shorts have previously screened films at the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Among the films premiered today is A SLIP IN TIME, the first film from Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris since LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, which is nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars.
While mobile phones have previously been used for distribution of franchised cinematic, ‘mobisode’ or user generated content, the Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project is the first time that the highest calibre of independent filmmaking talent has directed specifically for the mobile phone.
The Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project is sponsored by Roamware and NXP Semiconductors, the newly independent semiconductor company founded by Philips.
FILMMAKER BIOS AND STATEMENTS
A SLIP IN TIME (Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris made their feature film directorial debut with Little Miss Sunshine at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Over the years, they have built an impressive body of work by seeking innovative projects in a variety of mediums. After introducing bands like REM and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their groundbreaking MTV show, The Cutting Edge, Dayton and Faris continued to direct music videos and documentaries, earning two Grammy Awards, nine MTV Music Video Awards, and a Billboard Music Director of the Year Award in the process. They have also directed episodes of Mr. Show with Bob and David on television and produced two feature films.
“When we heard that this was for a true international audience we really looked back to a time when film was more international, said Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris “In the silent era, you were a film star not in America or in Europe, but worldwide. It was truly language-free. We thought it would be interesting to go back to that time when film was more purely visual.”
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD (Directed by Jody Hill)
Jody Hill grew up in North Carolina and attended the film school at the North Carolina School of the Arts. After working several jobs in television in Los Angeles, Hill moved back to North Carolina to make a film that he had been working on for several years with the support of his friends and local community. The Foot Fist Way, which he wrote, directed, produced, and acted in, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
“The coolest thing about this project for me... is the opportunity to make a film for the love of it and for no other reason than that, said Jody Hill. “You can do whatever you want. With the cell phone and the small
screen, the feel of something like LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD is going to be spontaneous and slapdash and intentionally so.”
¡LA REVOLUCION DE IGUODALA! (Directed by Justin Lin)
Justin Lin’s solo directorial debut, the critically acclaimed BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Lin’s ANNAPOLIS and THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT were both released in 2006. Lin’s most recent work, FINISHING THE GAME, premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
“I was really excited because of the new format,” said Justin Lin. “The natural reaction is, ‘Oh, you have to shoot everything close-up, you can't do wides.’ Then I started experimenting, started seeing it, and for me [that] was completely false: you can go wide. It's amazing how much you can focus no matter if the screen is 500 feet or just two inches!”
LOS VIAJES DE KING TINY (Directed by Maria Maggenti)
Maria Maggenti began her career as the writer/director of THE INCREDIBLY TRUE ADVENTURE OF TWO GIRLS IN LOVE, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995. Her screenwriting credits include THE LOVE LETTER and HE’S A WOMAN, SHE’S A MAN and she spent three seasons as a writer for TV’s Without a Trace. Her latest feature PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
“The thing that's interesting about this format—about using this technology—is that there's still a really strong impulse that people have to share,” said Maria Maggenti. “The same way you do when you go to the cinema. I hope that people say: ‘Oh! Let me send you this little movie,’ or ‘Come over here and watch this movie that's on my cell phone!‘ That's what I want people to get out of it: Sharing it.”
RENO (Directed by Cory McAbee)
Cory McAbee’s feature film The American Astronaut premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive international acclaim. His short films include the award-winning Billy Nayer, the Pixelvision short The Man on the Moon, and The Ketchup and Mustard Man. McAbee is currently in pre-production on his next feature film, Werewolf Hunters of the Midwest. As a visual artist, his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the U.S. As a musician he is the singer/songwriter for The Billy Nayer Show.
“I think it's nice that people who promote independent work are getting involved on this level when something like this is just beginning,” expressed Cory McAbee. “For them to be involved—to be there at the starting gate—and produce independent work for that format is wonderful.”
Notes for Editors:
How to see the films at the 3GSM World Congress:
Visitors to the 3GSM World Congress: visit The Sundance Institute stand (C42 Hall 7) in the Mobile Entertainment Hall, the Roamware stand (D47 Hall 7) and NXP Semiconductors (B110 Hall 8).
At the close of the 3GSM World Congress: The five films are being shown exclusively at the GSMA's Congress this week with wide distribution to mobile audiences beginning February 15. Visit www.sundance.org/globalshortfilms for info on how to access these five original shorts for your mobile phone, and share them with your friends.
About the Sundance Institute:
Dedicated year-round to the development of artists of independent vision and to the exhibition of their new work, Sundance Institute celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2006. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Institute 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 US artists and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world. The Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most innovative films and film makers of the past two decades. It is the premier showcase for American and international independent film, held annually in Park City, Utah, USA.
About the GSM Association:
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 217 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's members serve more than two billion customers - 82% of the world's mobile phone users. See: www.gsmworld.com & www.3gsmworldcongress.com