Central Coast Filmmaker Jason van Genderen, will fly off to New York City this Thursday after being chosen as one of 15 finalists (and the only Australian finalist) in the Moment Invitational Film Festival. This global smartphone film festival has attracted almost 1000 entries from all over the world, largely due to the unbelievable $100,000 prize pool.
Entrants had to make a short film (on a smartphone) that was 3min or less and would fit within 1 of 5 nominated categories: Doco, Narrative, How To, Experimental, or Travel. Festival organisers selected 3 finalists for each category. Jason’s film was selected for the Documentary section.
His beautiful and very personal film, titled Beholder, is about his late father’s forgotten artwork. The film is not only a testament to his dad but a stunning representation of the work that can be created using an iPhone. The short film was made in under a week and cost less than $90.
This self-taught filmmaker also runs a local agency called Treehouse Creative, which recently became Australia’s first video production studio to switch entirely to iPhones as their broadcast capture cameras.
No stranger to agitating the storytelling space, Jason’s first international festival win happened to take place in the same city he’ll find himself in this week. In 2008 he won Tropfest NY with a film captured on a Nokia N95.
“People are still in disbelief with what’s possible filming on their smartphones. What we’re experiencing is a golden age in storytelling. Never before in our living history have we had more cameras in the world, and more people able to tell their story without spending hundreds of thousands doing it. The Moment Invitational is proof that incredibly talented storytellers can make movies with the most rudimentary tools.” says Van Genderen.
The winners of the Moment Invitational will be announced this Saturday (13 April) NY time. So, the question remains before Jason jets off to NYC, can this self-taught Aussie take on a century-old movie industry?