New Media Film Festival Celebrates, Well, New Media
– The Convergence of Story and Technology
– New Formats For New Platforms
You wouldn’t pour new wine into old wine bottles, would you?
So why try to stuff new media content into old formats?
The New Media Film Festival is encouraging content makers to
break out of the old platforms and explore storytelling using
the new, connected and online mediums.
The festival is now accepting submissions for its fourth
annual innovative and acclaimed festival, to be held next June
in California. Categories for submissions include Web series,
Webisodes, mobile shorts, 3D, animated, and feature length
With the tagline “Honoring stories worth telling,” the New
Media Film Festival focuses on the interaction of new
technologies and formats for media and cinema “which exemplify
the power of the cinematic arts to inspire and transform,”
according to the Web site. The festival has received critical
acclaim and is an IMDb qualifier.
Susan Johnston, director of the festival, told The Online
Reporter the festival explores “what format are you shooting
on, and what window – or windows – are you showing in.”
“In today’s market place, how you tell a story is so varied,
and you have more choices than you ever did before,” Johnston
said. “The whole package makes a different in the end result.”
The New Media Film Festival honors a variety of new content
formats and technologies. “You can film on your mobile phone,
your iPad, these little flip-cameras,” Johnston said. “And
they’re in high def. It’s amazing.”
Submissions range from industry veterans such as Michael
Eisner’s Vuguru Studio, to first-time submitters. The festival
has screened some big names, such as actor Jason Alexander and
Machinima. Sponsors include film editing company Moviola, film
cloud platform Scenio, digital media solutions provider
GreenHouse Studios, and Select Services Films, a production
company that (among other things) produced the first ever
series made exclusively for cell phones, call “Mini Bikers.”
Films submitted are judged by a panel that has included in the
past representatives from Disney’s Pixar, award-winning visual
effects company Industrial Light & Magic, game designer Lorne
Lanning, and a number of Sundance and Oscar winners.
This year, the festival honored Ray Bradbury with its Legend
Award, and screened the film “Kaleidoscope,” staring Brett
Stimely. The film was nominated for two awards in the Action
on Film International Film Festival.
“What we’re finding is that great stories stand the test of
time,” Johnston said. “You have to have a great story to get a
great film. Shorts, trailers, music videos features, socially
responsible content – all of these ways to tell a story, you
don’t necessarily have to have a name actor.”
“We’ve gotten critical acclaim because of our focus on story,”
That focus has landed New Media Festival content a reputation
for being quality, and monetizeable. Johnston said the
festival is now looking into distribution for its library.
“We’ve started having companies contact us with these
innovative technologies,” she said.
“We looked for fair situations,” she said. “There’s something
to be said for getting your stuff out there on a YouTube
channel for free and getting a million hits,” she said, but
added that there are other revenue streams available to the
artists. “We are a global community, where artists are
realistically helping each other. We can all move forward and
monetize it,” she said. “It’s an odd concept for some, but