Sundance gets short on the phone

Redford's institute commissions five films in pilot mobile phone project

by Amber Wilkinson

The Sundance Insitute has announced a pilot project to create short films for viewing on mobile phones.

Sundance founder and president Robert Redford announced that the Institue is collaborating with mobile phone global trade association GSMA and has commissioned five short films from Sundance alumni as part of the project.

Speaking at a press conference in New York, Redford said: "Cell phones are fast becoming the 'fourth screen' medium, after television, cinema and computers.

"We feel this experiment embodies fully, our quarter-century dedication to exploring new platforms to support wider distribution of independent voices in filmmaking.

"We are excited about bringing this opportunity to independent filmmakers and most excited to see what they will do with it."

Among the directors commissioned to make the three to five minute shorts - which will premiere at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona next February 12 - are Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Ferris, the directorial force behind indie cross-over hit Little Miss Sunshine.

Foot Fist Way director Jody Hill, Puccini For Beginners helmer Maria Maggenti, Cory McAbee - who directed The Astronaut - and Justin Lin, whose recent projects include The Fast And The Furious Tokyo Drift, will also produce a short each.

Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival John Cooper, who will oversee the project, said it was all about "the big story for small screen."

He added: "The Global Short Film Project takes us into the realms of a uniquely intimate new medium, one which holds tremendous promise for maximizing the impact and international reach of the short film genre, and in doing so serving the artists.

The films will be available for mobile phone download during the three days of the February congress for attendees, and for broader distribution through mobile carriers immediately following the event – further details will be announced early next year.

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