Shanghai International Film Festival announces nominees for the first Mobile Film Competition

Shanghai International Film Festival announces nominees for the first Mobile Film Competition

The smart phone industry gets a boost as SIFF’s mobile phone film category announces its 50 finalists
Shanghai international film festival - mobile phone film -- main
The future of filmmaking? The 14th Shanghai International Film Festival is banking on it.

Fifty films from 27 countries -- all shot on smart phones.

Pretty impressive stats, no? That’s what the 14th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) -- taking place June 11-19 -- is banking on, as it announces the nominees for its Mobile Phone Film Competition.

This is the first time SIFF is judging this category.

The 50 films, which have been submitted since the category was announced in November 2010, will compete for awards in best short film, best director, best creative, best drama, best action film, best animation and best documentary, says the Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to the traditional categories, the mobile phone films will also go head to head for the Audience Award, judged by most mobile phone clicks. RMB 10,000 is on the line for each award.

Although scores of amateur filmmakers have tried their hand at this category, SIFF organizers pointed out in their press statement that experienced directors have also submitted work including South Korean director Park Chan-Yu (he submitted an iPhone film called “Lofty Waves”), and Hong Kong director Pang Ho-cheung.

“The Shanghai Film Festival has always been a platform to hatch the new,” said Tang Lijun, SIFF's managing director. “With the influence of new media growing, we believe mobile phones are bound to change the future pattern of the film industry.”

China Mobile is backing this competition, allowing people to view the 50 finalists on their site

This competition comes at an interesting time in China, as mobile technology is taking off due, in part, to the rising popularity of smart phones.

China's mobile phone users grew by 41.39 million in the first four months of 2011 to 900.39 million -- that's almost two-thirds of the country's population, officials from the Ministry of Information and Technology said Tuesday, reported by

Zero2IPO, a China-based consultancy, expects shipments of mobile phones to surpass that of PCs within the next two year. Sounds like good news for the Shanghai International Film Festival's newest category.