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April 16, 2009

Calling all campus filmmakers: The Pocketmedia Film Festival is here

News and Information

Attention campus Scorceses, Coppolas and Tarantinos — your moment in the spotlight may have arrived. The first-ever UW Pocketmedia Film Festival is about to begin.


What’s the Pocketmedia Film Festival? It’s a competition of videos shot on cameras that will fit in your pocket, such as a mini camcorder, a digital camera or a mobile phone, and it runs from April 17 to May 13.


It’s free and open to all UW faculty, staff, students and alumni. Winners will be screened in a final celebration the evening of May 28, in 106B HUB.


Here’s how it works: Shoot your film, edit it to your satisfaction and visit uwpocketmedia.org to submit it. Then you’ll be taken to zooppa.com, where all the films will be voted and commented on by the entire community that uses that Web site. The video with the most votes will win the People’s Choice award, an iPod nano.

The films must be 90 seconds or less in length and on the theme of “What do you do at the UW?” Oh, and they also must feature a purple “W” at some point in the film.


Films in any language are welcome, but those not in English will need to have English subtitles. Participants must provide credits for music, photos and other materials they use. And they may not use copyrighted material unless they have permission. All content should be original or in the public domain.


The videos also will be evaluated by a select panel of UW judges who will review them on the basis of artistic content, production value, originality and — of course — use of the purple W. The grand prize will be an iPod touch. Honorable mention prizes will be an Apple Final Cut Express Editing Software kit, a Flip camera and passes to the Seattle International Film Festival.

Hanson Hosein, director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media program and creator of the festival, said, “As a former TV journalist who was raised on large, expensive cameras, I love how this cheap, portable technology makes everyone a filmmaker.”


Hosein said he designed the festival “as a way to celebrate this communication revolution — and to help spread the good word about media literacy now that we all have the potential to broadcast our content around the planet. Besides, there’s no better way to engage a passionate community here at the university than through a film contest.”


So, do you have a Goodfellas-style tracking shot in mind? Maybe some thrilling, Citizen Kane-style camera angles? Or even a bit of video film noir, or a Bollywood dance number? Or is the documentary feel of cinema verite more your style?


It’s all good — just shoot, edit, upload and see what happens. Meanwhile, the big purple W is in its trailer, running lines and awaiting its close-up, so don’t leave it out.

The UW Pocketmedia Film Festival is sponsored by the Master of Communication in Digital Media program, the ASUW and Zooppa.com.

Learn everything you need to know at uwpocketmedia.org.