Short Film Competition for Smartphone Film

As a form of digital literacy, storytelling and smartphone films can promote positive change and draw attention to ecology and sustainability. Smartphone filmmaking in its third generation is not only changing the industry inside and outside of the cinema, but can also make a contribution to how we engage with the world.

As a digital form of narrative, smartphone films can help change the way we think and also draw attention to the subject of ecology and sustainability. At the moment, smartphone films are not just changing the film industry both on and off camera. They are also having an impact on the way in which we interact with our environment. 

In this era of “Fridays for Future” demonstrations with Greta Thunberg as a symbol of a generation demanding the debate about sustainability and ecology be taken seriously, we challenged filmmakers from Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand to send us their perspectives and contributions in the form of a 3-5 minute smartphone film.

Nearly 60 films were submitted and nine winners from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam were invited to a workshop in Wellington, where they spent three days collaborating on a smartphone short film on ecotourism with music contributed by German musician Hanno Leichtmann.

The competition ended with a podium discussion and gala screening at the iconic Embassy Theatre, where “Lord of the Rings” had its world premiere. The evening was officially opened by the German ambassador, Stefan Krawielicki. As well as the winning films, the collaborative film on ecotourism was also presented. The event was accompanied by a podium discussion featuring experts on the subject Sarah Meade, Mark Williams, John Barrett, Ian Yeoman and Max Schleser and smartphone competition winners Tejas Ewing and Fauzhyana Sharifa.

To offset some of the carbon emissions of their air travel, we supported the nature conservation project “Ngā Uruora” on the Kapiti Coast. The filmmakers spent half a day creating a lizard habitat out of driftwood in a nature reserve there and a short film was produced to document the process.