International Mobil Film Festival: 36 Films from around the world screened during MFF2015

It was very inspiring to watch the attending filmmakers who came to San Diego for the fourth annual International Mobil Film Festival™ in San Diego, which took place at Grossmont College. The filmmakers shot their films using mobile phones which any smartphone user knows looks like a small widescreen TV set. To watch the filmmakers see their films on the big screen during a cinema showcase was truly inspirational.

Founder Susan Botello

If you are looking for a niche in the film industry this may be it! You carry a camera in your hand, your pocket, your bag or perhaps clipped unto you. You never leave the house without it do you? That used to be the tag line for American Express!

We are very honored to have screened 36 films from around the world during the film festival: United Kingdom | Philippines | Turkey | Belarus | Morocco | India | Hungary | Egypt | British Columbia | Denmark | Spain | Bulgaria | Iran | Great Britain | France | USA – Puerto Rico | USA – Texas | USA – New York | USA – New Jersey | USA – California | USA – Arkansas | USA – Florida.

The filmmakers who made it to our mobile film festival were able to watch their films screen on the big screen, present mobile filmmaking techniques during the Mobile Film School (non-accredited) workshop, and share stories and presentations with the audience. Of course, we went Hollywood style when with a wonderful red carpet award ceremony. This year, AKP (Art King Productions) partnered with us to introduce the Mobile Fashion Show to the red carpet ceremony.

Adi Spektor Runner Up Prize winner
Adi Spektor won Runner Up Prize during MFF2015.
Mobile Fashion Show
Mobile Fashion Show model Kitana Hillegass.
MFF2015 Q&A Panel
Q & A Panel Presentation.


S. Botello Productions™ began to create this festival in 2009, an idea that came from the founder, Susan Botello, as she watched a newscast in 2001. She asked herself the “what if” question which turned into a vision of the future. Since then, Susan waited for the perfect time to bring the idea into a film festival with a venue to present the films on big screens and provide a networking venue and red carpet award ceremony respecting and celebrating the storyteller of the future: the mobile filmmaker. That time came with the iPhone 4 but she realized the iPhone was leading an evolution and so she made sure the festival was exclusive to only mobile phones of all makes and models, even cell phones. She also realized that it should be all inclusive and will accept films from all humans regardless of age, income, or experience.

After postponing the festival a few times during the course of organizing and launching it, she could not find a venue in San Diego who would sponsor the event. Grossmont College became an option as her alumni status and continued communication and relations with the Media Communications Department made it possible to reach out to instructors Evan Wirig and William Snead. MFF2012 brought filmmakers even from Macedonia to San Diego for the festival and we presented the first international mobile film festival which screened films on big screens in a live venue.

As a pioneer celebrating pioneer mobile filmmakers like Conrad Mess and Michael Koerbel who both won MFF2012, the film festival was a success because it proved that not only can you make a movie with your phone, but that you can present it in a venue just like any traditional film festival. That meant it was a great way to get a foot into the door of the film industry.

MFF2015 screened more films this year than in previous years. We used Periscope app by Twitter (SBP is our profile) and performed live broadcast sessions of the film festival as well. The event took place on April 25 & 26, 2015.

MFF2015 Diao Ueden
Diao Ueden capturing mobile event footage.
MFF2015 Mobile Filmmakers
Pioneer mobile filmmakers brought together for MFF2015 in San Diego. Left to right: Jose Iturriaga, Adi Spektor, founder Susy Botello, Alicia Hayes, Robert David Duncan & Prakash Gandhi Natarajan. Photo credit: 656 Photography.

Find out more about us and join us. We are putting together a global Mobile Film Resource center based in San Diego including MFTV (mobile Film TV) network channel. Email us for more information or visit our website.

Thanks to 656 Photography for great photos of the event!

International Mobil Film Festival

MFF2015 Winners have been announced! 

Dancers of NYC – First Prize winner
Tristan G. Pope
Apple iPhone 6 – New York, New York (USA)
Dancers of NYC, showing off the iPhone 6, 240 FPS Slow-Motion feature, in a beautiful, original, and powerful way!

Sector Zero 4 – Second Prize winner
Alfonso Garcia Lopez
iPhone 4s – Madrid, Spain
Melissa Baquer is driving the wrong direction when she requests that the Computer Emergency Center route her vehicle via GPS. During the call she will suffer an accident.

Lost and Found in Dubai – Third Prize winner
Vasilis Billy Blioumis
Note 4 Samsung – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A Filipina maid lost the child she takes care of. The diverse people of Dubai are willing to help her create a united nation’s search in Dubai’s park.

How to Rob a House – Runner Up Prize winner
Adi Spektor
Apple iPhone 5s – Los Angeles, California (USA)
Two thieves find themselves robbing the wrong house at the wrong time.

Congratulations to the winners of MFF2015, the fourth annual International Mobil Film Festival in San Diego!

International Mobile Film Festival SD

Thanks to Foto Safari Products who sponsored our Mobile Film School Workshop providing a mobile filmmaking accessory to our guests and all the filmmakers who attended the festival in San Diego. Red Giant provided the grand prize of their new Magic Bullet Suite software. Grossmont College provided the venue. And Williams Production Company provided equipment and set up support during the event. Our tag is #MobileFilmSD

We are adding films but you can watch the winning films and the films of the attending filmmakers now. Be inspired and make your own. We don’t bind anyone to a category because we encourage creativity and experimentation. As long as your film is not vulgar or offensive you can submit a film for competition in next year’s MFF2016. Rules on our website. The submissions open (free) this summer. See you on the red carpet!

“The red carpet is in your pocket!” – International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego.

http://www.internationalmobilefilmfestival. Join us on Facebook for updates and stories!

Sponsors for MFF2015: Grossmont College, Red GiantFoto Safari Products and Williams Production Company.


6 thoughts on “International Mobil Film Festival: 36 Films from around the world screened during MFF2015

  1. The mobile film community seems to be heavily slanted towards the iPhone. Not to get into a debate, there are a handful of other smartphone devices that yield higher quality video. So I’m wondering why the community is so heavily slanted towards the iPhone? There are capable apps and accessories on the Android/Windows for filmmaking. Samsung, LG, Nokia, Sony abd now the full frame sensored Panasonic. All producing some amazing images. It seems odd to me why we wouldn’t see more of a even playing field in this regard. The iPhone is a capable device, don’t get me wrong. But it’s only 25% of what’s out there as a viable tool in this space. If I have to be honest, I find it a little annoying.

    • Hi Matthew. We embrace filmmakers who shoot their films with the camera on their phone and we accept films shot with any make or brand phone. It’s about the story. What phone are you going to make your film with? Will you contact us and share your mobile filmmaking experience with us? Thanks for your comments!

  2. You’re absolutely right. Film making is ultimately about the story. But using the tools is how you deliver it. I guess I get a little annoyed when the perception in the larger phoneography community is iPhone film making/photography instead of smartphone film making/photography. Could you imagine if we were all forced to shoot with Canon?

    Choice is good.

    I’m currently shooting with an Galaxy S4 (1080) and a Note4 (UHD 4K). I know some people use these devices for film making but overwhelmingly it seems to be the iPhone. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just wish the field was a bit more even across.

    Equally, there is a ton of after market accessories for iPhone film making. On the Android and Windows side however, it’s unfortunately severely lacking. This can be very frustrating for those that want and choose to use a different platform. Many Android cameras are simply stunning.

    That being said, it’s still possible. For example, I’ve just ordered the enCinema 35mm DOF adapter which is of course designed to fit the iPhone. Luckily, the system connects to a 37mm thread. There are a couple 37mm adapters that fit Android and Windows phones so it is possible to use that system, just not the metal case that comes with the original kit.

    It’s just unfortunate for me and others in my spot that the focus of the after market is always centered around the iPhone. It means we can’t enjoy as much out-of-the-box accessory products. We have to get crafty. But I guess that’s part of smartphone film making in general.

    For those on the Android platform there are 2 paid apps which are comparable in terms of features to Filmic Pro:

    Cinema-FV5 Pro:

    -WB lock
    -EV Lock/EV compensation
    -Focus Lock
    -Set FPS
    -4K support and below
    -Controllable shutter speed
    -Touch/Auto/Macro/Infinity focus modes
    -Manual focus (on supported devices)
    -Interval shooting for time lapse.

    LgCamera Pro: (Not pleasant to look at, but it works)

    -WB lock
    -EV Lock/EV compensation
    -Focus Lock
    -Set FPS
    -Touch/Auto/Macro/Infinity focus modes
    -100 mbit output.

    And finally, the first 1″ image sensor in a smartphone with adjustable aperture: (It’s not the iPhone)

  3. We provide a venue for all brands of phones to ensure we provide the festival opportunity to every human being on the planet with a camera on their phone and a desire to make films. Perhaps you can help spread the word so that more Android and Windows users can be inspired to make films and realize their dream. This way, more designers who are manufacturing accessories will make their accessories available to other users who don’t have iPhones. There are some smartphone filmmaking accessories already available and that goes for apps as well. So the best way to get more attention for other phones is to make more films with other phones. There is a supply and demand element to all of this. It has been great discussing this with you. There is much more to add to the conversation. Perhaps you will make a film and submit it to MFF2016, come to San Diego and we can chat passionately about mobile filmmaking. Best regards!

    • Yes, I agree. I can clearly see this community accepts submissions based off any smartphone use. I guess I was just making general remarks to the greater community as a whole.

      I also agree that more exposure generates more demand in the aftermarket. And that is in part my “symptomatic” goal in making films with non iPhone products. The word “smartphone” has become so synonymous with the word iPhone I want other aspiring mobile film makers who don’t own an iPhone to know that this art form is available to them as well.

      I’m hoping with the accolades that the Samsung Galaxy 6 has received, particularly in the camera department, that it garners more of that market attention, not away from the iPhone, but in unison.

      I would love to submit a film for the 2016 Festival. I’m in the Seattle area so San Diego is not that much of a trip for me.

      I do video professionally where I work, both in shooting and in edit. But non of that gear ( which is top of the line Canon ) is personally mine.

      At home I’m relegated to my 2 smartphones which I like to call camera A and camera B, and some additional pro gear. Some of it is DIY. And I seem to be on this kick of turning everyday household items into film gear. It’s my proverbial middle finger to the overpriced industry if you will. 🙂

      I’m still learning how to tweak the best quality out of my setup and really get to know it’s strengths and weaknesses. As I’m sure you know micro sensors aren’t the easiest to work with. So I’m slowly phasing into an actual shoot. It would be nice to have a submission in the festival.

      I do have one question. When you show the submissions on a large screen does the quality/resolution look horrible?

  4. Hi Matthew. Yes they look great. Of course, as you know, the quality of the camera, the projector and your film itself always plays a role. But everyone is impressed with how great films look projected unto big screens like at the theaters. When you come to San Diego as a filmmaker you will get a chance to watch your film shot with a phone on the big screen. Have a great weekend!

Comments are closed.