Creativity doesn’t have to come at a cost at the Western Smartphone Film Festival

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
NDK Images

NDK Images

When you think of a movie production, big sets, expensive equipment, and a big cast and crew come to mind.

The Western Smartphone Film Festival is allowing students to show off their artistic talent with something that is always within reach, your smartphone.

“The goal is to get students involved in filmmaking because a lot of students think filmmaking is really hard and expensive so it’s to show students it’s actually something you can do for no cost at all,” says media outreach coordinator Amanda Viveiros.

It was enough to intrigue two science students at Western, Zabi Mohebzada and Jacob Kachura, who ended up winning last year’s first place prize of $500 with their film “The Perfect Day.”


Zabi Mohebzada and Jacob Kachura with their handmade film equipment.

What’d they do with the money? Buy more film equipment because last year they made everything by hand.

“When we were preparing for our shoot, we came across some things in our room that we were able to use like our desk lamps for lighting and to clip our phones onto other objects. We needed to find a short tripod to place on the ground so we used our chemical molecular kits to make a stand,” recalls Mohebzada.

But when it comes down to judging the films, though the cinematography is important, Viveiros says the creativity of the storyline is the most important.

“It’s interesting to see what people come up with. We don’t want to make it all ‘techy’ because a huge part of it is the plot, the thought you put into it, the settings and lighting. We really want to see the creative component coming out.”

Every year there is a theme to inspire the storylines and this year it’s misinformation and technology.

With fake news dominating the media, especially in the past couple months, students can cover a range of topics from misinformation in the press to a miscommunication between friends. Technology seems to be inserting itself into every facet of our lives, so students are encouraged to explore the many benefits and unintended consequences of it all.

They’ve received 32 submissions from across the country, including teams from Western and Fanshawe. The top 10 films will be shown in the McKeller Theatre at Western University on February 4th from 1:30pm – 4:00pm, and admission is free.


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