Programming IMFF 2021

International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego

10th Anniversary Edition

Theme for 2021: Your Story

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#MFF2021SanDiego took place online April 23-25, 2021

We worked very hard to create and design this event so everyone around the world could be a part of it and participate.

Filmmakers spent time in the Virtual Lobby in "The Quad" connecting and participating in Q&A Discussions.

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Friday, April 23 - Day One we Kicked Off the festival with a Welcome Video Presentation from San Diego at 1PM PST.

All Films were available to watch VOD between April 23 1PM PST and April 25 at Midnight PST.

Saturday, April 24: There was a Q&A Session in The Quad's Virtual Lobby forum space at 2PM with one feature filmmaker and several short filmmakers.

Sunday, April 25 - Awards Ceremony video presentation began at 1PM PST followed by a Final Q&A Session in The Quad's Virtual Lobby with the winner of the feature film awards and several other filmmakers who could attend. It was a celebratory end to the festival.


All the awards for each of our annual film festivals are listed on the awards page on the official International Mobile Film Festival website. 2021 was our 10th edition and the 13th year from the launch of our film festival by founder and director Susy Botello. The IMFF was created by S. Botello Productions™.


Charon (iPhone 8 Plus) - Best Feature Film - by Jennifer Zhang, California

War Is Not A Game (iPhone 11 Pro) - First Place Short Film - by Arthur Mikheev, Russia

A Train To Home (iPhone 6 & 7) - Second Place Short Film (featured Community Stories) by Razi Uddin, Pakistan

Shifted (iPhone 11 Pro) - Third Place Short Film by Ben Treston, United Kingdom

Official International Mobile Film Festival Website

The special edition of the Program Book will be made available with the winners of 2021 added to the annual awards section.

News Update: April 2, 2021
We want to send our sympathies to everyone affected by the COVID-19 situation. We hope to bring a fun and safe live event festival in 2022. It became evident at the end of 2020 that a live event this year was most likely not going to take place due to ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic restrictions in San Diego and around the world.

Feature Film Competition 2021

We select not more than three narrative feature films between 40 & 120 minutes for the festival each year. This year we selected three films and one film will receive the Best Feature Film Award to be presented online on the last day of the festival. All films were shot with smartphones and not more than 10% total drone footage is acceptable.

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Charon - Best Feature Film Award (feature films competition)

Jennifer Zhang

iPhone 8 Plus
A notorious hacker trapped under strict house arrest has her isolated, regimented world turned upside down when her boyfriend mysteriously begins dialing in with dark and unusual requests.
Key Cast: Jennifer Zhang, Eric Radic
Thriller | 1 hr. 13:19 min.


Listen to Jennifer Zhang in the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking Episode 94

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So Sicily

Jai Sharma, Chandan Roy Sanyal

iPhone X

Internet has made man imagine unreal to be true. A romantic fantasy and a journey of a man who imagines to travel physically as well as in his head. A man named Albert or AL is set on a journey to a far off land. He travels to Spain and Italy to meet a woman named Mira, and story unfolds over various events in his journey and his experience of a different mass of land through the imaginary eyes of her. The lines blur so definitely in the narrative that at one point the imaginary becomes real.

Key Cast: Chandan Roy Sanyal, Mira Mazumdar

Drama, Romance | 40:00 min.


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Patrick R Young, Powell Robinson

iPhone 8 Plus

Improvised, shot on two iPhones over the course of a 12 day road trip, with a crew of 3, THRESHOLD follows a sister, claiming to be cursed, as she persuades her brother to embark on a cross country road trip to break her spell. Convinced she's using drugs, he agrees to the trip with one caveat: if there's nothing at their destination, she goes straight to rehab.

Key Cast: Madison West, Joey Millin

Horror, Drama | 1 hr. 17:00 min.

*Adult Content


 Listen to Patrick R. Young and Powell Robinson in the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking Episode 96

Awards Ceremony and Celebration

The awards ceremony for the International Mobile Film Festival celebrates all the filmmakers, participants, judges, Speakers, Ambassadors and Sponsors.

Though we could not hold the awards ceremony this year live on location, we held a special awards ceremony online on the last day of the festival, April 25th at 1PM PST and the filmmakers attended and followed with a Q&A Session on The Quad. The winners are listed in the official festival awards page on our website.

We are grateful and appreciative of this year's Judges for 2021! We are honored to include Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow best known as Nori and Dori in "The Hobbit" films by Peter Jackson.

Listen to Jed and Mark talk about being Judges this year for IMFF 2021, Mobile Filmmaking and insights to their experience with Lord Of The Rings & The Hobbit in Episode 92 of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking hosted by Susy Botello.

The jury panels for both Features & Shorts competitions includes Kimberley Hart, Demetrius Witherspoon, Shola Ajayi, and Nathan Bechtold. Find out more about them.

Virtual Networking Lobby

You can join the filmmakers and other participants along with virtual attendees in our virtual lobby. Thanks to Mobile Film Stories, you can create a free profile and join everyone for conversations and chit chat in this forum space, follow each other on social media, and perhaps collaborate on future projects. Will you meet your new BFF? It happens in the VIRTUAL LOBBY in "The Quad"!

Register now!

The Quad is the community space forum for mobile smartphone film and video enthusiasts all year-round.


Tenth Anniversary Edition

This year is our 10th Anniversary!

This year we had hoped to have a live event special celebration for our tenth anniversary edition. We successfully presented a special online film festival with more film screenings than ever before and every participant will receive a digital copy of our commemorative anniversary book which they can print for a keepsake.

The festival attendees loved the festival and how it created and sustained the community vibe.



Short Film Competition 2021

The Short Film Competition this year includes 50 short films between 1 and 5 minutes each. As with feature films, all films are shot with smartphones and not more than 10% drone footage is acceptable. Short films are from all genres. Two films were selected to be featured as Community Stories which is a special program in our festival designed before the first live event in San Diego.

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A Special Gift

Ryan Taeck-gyu. KIM

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

In the era of COVID-19 pandemic, in the midst of “mask crisis”…She is feeling good getting N95 masks from a pharmacy, until a man snatches her eco bag and runs away. Gazing blankly at the running man and she yells out “Oh my eco bag!” and starts chasing the man. In this urgent chasing game, will she be able to get the stolen eco bag back?

Key Cast: Ye-seung, YANG, Joo-wan, JANG

Action | 3:16 min.

Republic of Korea

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A Train To Home - Second Place Award (short film competition)

Razi Uddin

iPhone 6, iPhone 7

Memories and fears of the people whose houses were demolished in an attempt to revive Karachi circular railway.

Key Cast: Mr. Zahid Hussain, Shaheen Khanum

Documentary - Featured IMFF 2021 Community Stories | 5:00 min.


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AAAngsty AAAlice

Jiaqing Chen, BlueOnPink

iPhone 7S

Day after day, let life return to its simplicity, pierce through physicality, and we gaze into the dreams. "AAAngsty AAAlice" is a music video for Vancouver based indie artists BlueOnPink and Ketchup MonsteR, inspired by the idea of hallucination and crossing the border between dream and reality.

Key Cast: BlueOnPink, Ketchup MonsteR

Music Video | 3:38 min.


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Winston Gelderbloem

Samsung S10 Plus

A grieving father attempts to perfect his last conversation with his deceased daughter.

Key Cast: Bobby Bennet, Tanya Erasmus

Drama | 3:05 min.

South Africa

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After You

Lionel Nakache

Samsung S6

Sometimes it only takes a short moment in an elevator to learn respect.

Key Cast: Gaëla Le Dévéhat, Philippe Chaine

Social Drama | 1:00 min.


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Against The Grain: What Is A Startup

Seth Dacio

iPhone 11 Pro

Event promotional video.

Key Cast: Romel Romero, Julius Alejandro, Eugene Narciso

Business & Entrepreneurship | 3:29 min.


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Ahy-suh-ley-shuh n

Jason Hargreaves

iPhone 11 Pro

This little iso-film (isolation film) is an exploration of shifting perspectives, emotion and feeling, memory, fears and anxieties about the future and taking comfort in the known present. The ambiguity of the call is open to the viewer to fill in the blanks, it could be a partner working in isolation away from their family, a grandparent, a brother or sister. This time has been one of contradictions, on one hand we’ve been isolated, while on the other, it feels like we have never been as connected to each other, our families and friends across the world.

Key Cast: Jason Hargreaves

Experimental | 1:30 min.


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And So It Went

Michèle M Jedlicka

Samsung S10
A woman seeks to recover a picture of who she was when distance, time and isolation interfere with memories of her past.

Key Cast: Michèle Jedlicka

Drama | 3:00 min.


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Anne Leigh Cooper

iPhone 7 Plus

By mistake a parcel is delivered to Anna that was intended for her neighbor. When she goes to sleep, strange things start happening.

Horror, Thriller | 1:55 min.

New York

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Riyadh Haque

OnePlus 5T

Audrey has to choose. But she doesn't want to.

Key Cast: Ellie Cashin, Matt Findlay, Narrator

Drama, Comedy | 5:00 min.

United Kingdom

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Nicholas Shoesmith

iPhone XS

A dance film captured on mobile during the U.K. Nationwide lock down of 2020, CELL expresses the frustration and anxiety experienced by many during this unprecedented time.

Key Cast: Bruno Micchiardi, Elias David Rooney

Screendance Category | 4:16 min.

United Kingdom

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Dawn Heist

Neil Walshe

iPhone SE

Two toddlers get up early in order to raid the kitchen.

Key Cast: Eleanor Walshe, Audrey Walshe, Kelly Walshe

Action | 2:36


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Don't Tell Mom

Karl J. Niemiec

iPhone X

In these modern times of pandemic where everyone is being told to stay home to be safe, four siblings sneak away without Mom's permission to play zombies at the school's park - only to be accosted by a crazy old man infected with whatever is taking over the dangerous world they live in.

Key Cast: Karl J Niemiec, Paisley Niemiec, Hudson Niemiec, Kolton Niemiec, Vaughn Niemiec

Thriller | 4:00 min.


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Simon Lex

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Liv is preparing to welcome her first baby into the world but an obstinate flat-pack and a preoccupied husband stand in her way.

Key Cast: Celine Abrahams, Simon Haines

Romantic Comedy | 4:56 min.

United Kingdom

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Dimple Devadas

iPhone XS

A social Impact Smartphone Health Film; personal stories about infertility. Flashover: n. the moment a conversation becomes real and alive, which occurs when a spark of trust shorts out the delicate circuits you keep insulated under layers of irony, momentarily grounding the static emotional charge you’ve built up through decades of friction with the world.

Key Cast: Linn Johansson, Jessica Hepburn, Samina Khan, Camilla Isola, Laura Calcagno

Experimental | 5:00 min.

United Kingdom

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From Mother To Daughter

Aïda Touihri

iPhone 11 Pro

3 women, 3 places, at 3 different times. The grandmother, born in Tunisia last century during french occupation, didn't know how to read or write. But after Tunisian independence, she wanted her daughters to fight for their right to study. The film shows how women empowered through education within 3 generations.

Key Cast: Laurence Roustandjee, Jenna Tahri, Dominique Courté, Mokhtaria Hamida, Marwa Touihri

Experimental - Featured IMFF 2021 Community Stories | 2:26 min.


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Heading Out

Derek DeRoche

iPhone 7

This is the story of my family's brave women.

Key Cast: Derek DeRoche

Comedy, Suspense | 3:03 min.


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Bjørn Erik Pihlmann Sørensen

iPhone X

On the ice-skating court an eleven-year-old boy is practicing hockey. In order to not be discovered by the bullies he tries to make himself as invisible as possible. Nevertheless the older hockey players find out he's there. At his weakest, and with great force he catches enough courage to stand up for himself.

Key Cast: Even Myrland Pedersen, Gustav Slotsvig, Marcus Palmberg, Mathias Farnes, Aslak Vannebo

Drama | 1:00 min.


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I Just Need Love

Jake J Meniani

Huawei p30 Pro

A lonely transvestite struggles through life and tries to be accepted as he is. But suicide seems like the brightest option.

Key Cast: Jake J Meniani

Drama | 1:00 min.


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I Promise To Enter The Oversized Hat

Jiaoyang Li

iPhone X

In 2020, at the peak of the pandemic: A gay friend was about to return to China, and the suspended future was as fuzzy as his gender. In any case, he decided to don a feather robe for the last dance in Manhattan. We say farewell to the lucky cat in a Chinatown meat shop, to the US police station that looks like Disneyland, and to the mannequins locked inside the Soho window like modern mermaids... In Ancient China, there is a myth about a fairy who has to dance for the fishermen because he took away the feather robe she needs to fly back home. But that is just a faded myth. In the real world, people live by phantom limbs. Whether it is one''s body, memory, political identity, or gender, everything can be left anywhere. A future full of uncertainty is like an oversized hat. However, the behemoth we feel scared of will after all attract us to step into it.

Key Cast: Bingxu Wang

Experimental, LGBT | 4:30 min.

New Jersey

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In Plane English

Brian Plonka

iPhone 5s

A routine flight from Spokane to Portland brings out the worst in a married couple on a collision course with extended family.

Dark Comedy | 3:22 min.


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It’s Your Turn…

Emma Asquith

iPhone 11

Thriller, set in the 1960’s when two spirits come together.

Key Cast: Jessie Peck, Mia Andrews

Thriller | 1:00 min.

United Kingdom

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Jungle Law

Dalia El-Akkad

iPhone 7

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, zoos urged to shut down across Egypt between March 15 to August. That had a bad effect on feeding animals as zoos rely completely on the entry of visitors to feed the population of 6000 animals. Zoos hard-up and are struggling financially. So the head of the zoos decided to feed weaker animals to stronger ones.

Mobile Journalism Category | 2:48 min.


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La Fiesta

Cody Tarbox

iPhone 11 Pro

Set in the late 1970s Miami cocaine trade.

Key Cast: Cody Tarbox, Alexander Khoury

Music Video | 4:34 min.

New York

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Lasagna Meditation

Adam Rettek

iPhone 12

Francesco Allegra, a pasta chef at Rossoblu Italian Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, guides us through the meditative experience of making Lasagna from scratch.

Key Cast: Francesco Allegro

Narrative | 3:56 min.


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Paul London, Tracey Moberly

iPhone 6, 7, 11 and other smartphones around the globe

The film LOCKDOWN was conceived as a way to embrace the globally enforced home confinement during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Public Health Emergency of 2020. Filmmakers Paul London and Tracey Moberly invited friends and family to contribute to the film project using mobile devices only. Thirty six contributors globally submitted their visions of the safety enforced LOCKDOWN and confinement to the boundaries of their gardens and homes. Australia, Burma, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Tibet, U.K. and U.S.A.

Experimental | 5:00 min.


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London Falls Silent

Cassius Rayner

iPhone 11 Pro

Lockdown - the streets of London fall silent as I volunteered as a front line key worker delivering supplies to vulnerable families - the beauty, stillness and sadness of my city took hold of me and so I begin to document using my iPhone.

Experimental | 3:16 min.

United Kingdom

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Love And Sacrifice: A Journey

Jennifer Spennings, Athena Efter

iPhone 8

A daughter is thrust into the role of caregiver when her journey takes a left turn. The film documents the struggles and challenges caregivers face.

Drama | 3:03 min.

New York

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Lyrics Of Life

Shirin Afrand

iPhone 6 Plus

Time goes by, and so do our lives…

Experimental | 4:38 min.


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No Turning Back

Violeta Rodrigues

iPhone 8

Marina loses her job and crosses the country to be quarantined at her family's ranch. While adapting to her new situation, she receives messages from several people, which make her feel distressed, guilty and even more lonely. When she finally realizes what is most important to her, she creates an unusual way to end the inconvenient and invasive messages once and for all.

Key Cast: Higor Campagnaro, Elsa Romero, Silvana Stein, Sofia Saadi, Violeta Rodrigues

Drama | 4:55 min.


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Of Course I Speak French

Lansy Feng

Google Pixel 3

Chuen Jiau is taking us back to her last life when she was working in a restaurant as a singer in 1884 in Taiwan. She was required to speak French but she didn't. She managed to lie her way through getting the job and keeping the job. Everything was fine until one day, her boss asked her to help taking order for a table of French soldiers…

Key Cast: Lansy Feng, Lansy Feng, Lansy Feng

Comedy | 3:00 min.


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Off The Grid

Charise Greene, Alex Morf

iPhone X

Pioneer woman finds an unexpected pop of stability.

Key Cast: Charise Greene

Dark Comedy | 3:06 min.

New York

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Out Of Our Windows

Prakash Gandhi Natarajan

iPhone XS Max

Musical Montage shot from Chopper, Pedicab and Taxis in New York City.

Experimental | 3:00 min.


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Out Of Thin Air

Alexandra Guillossou

iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro

This documentary short outlines the Philosophy of Available Resources from an actor who practices it not only in film but also in furniture making.

Key Cast: Wolfgang Nelson

Documentary | 3:00 min.


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Paris Lockdown

Beraat Gokkus

iPhone 6s, iPhone 11 Pro

As a director and journalist, I am walking around Paris during coronavirus days. The city is under lockdown and I don't know till when. But I have hope, there is always hope.

Documentary | 5:00 min.


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Quiet On Set

Brandie Rich

iPhone 6s

A woman struggles to keep her sanity as she deals with a neighbor that terrorizes suburbia with loud noises.

Key Cast: Cherie Julander, Jason White

Comedy | 3:27 min.


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Raider Of The Last TP

Anthony Bradford

iPhone 11 Pro

A teacher moonlights as a basement storage unit raider in his spare time in search for a roll of toilet paper.

Key Cast: Anthony Bradford

Comedy | 3:00 min.

New Jersey

Listen: SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking discusses the film, acting and mobile films, with Anthony Bradford.

Episode 97

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Shelter In Place

Patty Babin

iPhone 8

A Twilight Zone-esque take on quarantining in Chicago and the repercussions of making other plans.

Key Cast: Patty Babin

Sci-Fi, Comedy | 3:23 min.


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Shifted - Third Place Award (short film competition)

Ben Treston

iPhone 11 Pro

Examining the themes of loss and isolation, the film is a reflective and experimental piece created using only the limited resources available during the the initial pandemic lockdown period in the United Kingdom.

Key Cast: Faye Ivory

Experimental | 1:27 min.

United Kingdom

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The Beautiful Picture

Anne Taylor

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Two little girls in isolation show us what happens when kids are allowed to just play.

Key Cast: Alice, Grace

Documentary | 2:42 min.


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The Bird Song

Lawrence Chandam

Samsung S9 Plus

An evocative and endearing story of a compassionate young boy and his mother, who tries to shield him from learning that life is but transient.

Key Cast: Manda Leima, Kabrabam Shinheiba, Oinam Kennedy

Drama | 3:00 min.


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The Doll

Narelle Nash

iPhone 7

A little girl's encounter with a stranger changes the legacy of a family for generations. Inspired by events from the life of early 20th century writer Franz Kafka

Key Cast: Freya Moore, Chloe Grace, Narelle Nash, Emily Rose, Julie Moore

Drama | 5:00 min.


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The Meeting

Sigfrido Giammona, Clara Congera

iPhone 8

Suspended without time or place, between memory and imagination, a light breeze stirs up the words and emotions, both spoken and unspoken, that have touched us throughout our lives. In memory of Luigi Maria Burruano, actor, director, writer, poet, profoundly curious about humanity.

Key Cast: Rosario Terranova

Drama | 5:00 min.


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The Music Team - Herman Faustus Chatman

Jonathan Croft

iPhone XR

A musician tries to keep his creative spirit alive without instruments.

Music Video | 2:33 min.


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The Yeti

William Pisciotta

iPhone 11

A monster stalks the last two remaining survivors of an arctic research team.

Key Cast: Devan Katherine

Horror | 1:53 min.


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Too Young

Colin Babcock, Amanda Smith

iPhone XR

A music video telling a powerful message of hope for those feeling trapped in any capacity.

Song by Storm Smith

Key Cast: Amanda Fallon Smith

Music Video | 4:55 min.


Listen: SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking discusses the making of the video with the filmmakers.

Episode 96

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Ken Sharma, Nalina Okey

Samsung S10 Plus

An online couple decide to take it to the next level when COVID restrictions ease, but in person things don't quite go as they hoped.

Key Cast: Talin Agon, Benn Spillane

Comedy, Romance | 3:15 min.


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War Is Not A Game - First Place Award (short film competition)

Arthur Mikheev

iPhone 11 Pro

The story of why only children should play war.

Key Cast: Artem Selezsky

Social Drama | 1:36 min.


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What The Heck?

Lucy Grossi, Marino Grossi

Samsung Note 9

A young songwriter unexpectedly finds inspiration from the strangest of sources, but then struggles to recreate the magic.

Key Cast: Angelo Grossi, Lucy Grossi

Musical Comedy | 4:59 min.


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Lillian Carter

iPhone 6

"WOMAN" reveals the three archetypes that all women utilize throughout their lives. The Mother is Unconditional Love, the Hunter is search for the Truth and The Witch is Wisdom and Intuition. They are innate strengths we draw from to understand others decisions, resolutions and perspectives as well as our own.

Experimental | 3:50 min.


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