Fall Film Festival: Become the Media!

We’re making movies!

First, the terms:

  • You have until December 14th to complete your film. Screenings will be on December the 18th.
  • We’re suggesting 15 minutes, but won’t fault you if you go longer (or shorter).
  • We’re requiring that the film be in a 4:3 aspect ratio, and in standard definition.
  • We’re suggesting that it be an entirely original work constructed from scratch between the time you encountered the poster for the first time and the submission deadline, but we won’t mind if you submit a piece you’ve been working on for a while.
  • This can be done for free! A cellphone or a webcam and a copy of Kdenlive is more than enough to produce an enjoyable film.
  • Equipment, education, and resources for filmmakers are available from the makerspace.
  • We welcome team submissions, and will be happy to facilitate matching potential participants with other team members.
  • First time filmmakers are highly encouraged to participate.
  • We are requiring all submissions to be licensed under a Creative Commons license. See the Creative Commons license picker for more information. (We’ll be using the CC-BY-SA license, for reasons Andrew outlined on his blog, but you’re welcome to use whichever open content license makes the most sense to you.)
  • While this is a makerspace project, we accept remote submissions.
  • You can send us submissions on VHS, DVD, or flash drive to:

Ellijay Makerspace
54 Kiker St
Ellijay, GA

  • Please note that the above does not mention Dropbox, Google drive, YouTube, Facebook, or any other commercial filesharing service. Entries shared through a commercial service will be disqualified.

Why a film festival?

Because you can make movies in our makerspace, and we want to encourage people to take advantage of those facilities. Because free and open alternatives to commercial video sharing sites need a boost. And, most importantly, because it’ll be fun.

Is that all?

Well, no. We must create our own media.

See, it’s like this: When we buy media from major corporations, we transfer money (and therefore power) out of our local communities, and in to the pockets of CEOs and shareholders. When we make media, or watch media from our communities, that same wealth (and power) stays within our communities.

Until recently, there were economic and logistic obstacles that prevented communities from providing the same kind of community alternatives for most kinds of media. Thankfully, this is no longer true.

Countless news stories of the last few years broke on Twitter, or Facebook thanks to a citizen journalist and their smartphone. There have been many TV show style series released on the web, from amateurs and professionals alike.

People are making their own media, and that’s awesome.

For the first time in the history of mass broadcasting, anyone can reach an audience of millions. (Sure, at the moment, we largely rely on corporate behemoths like Google and Facebook to do it, but the DIY technology movement is well underway.)

The products of modern hobbyists can rival and surpass the output of media conglomerates both in terms of quality and consumption in nearly every field.

So, let’s do it.

Why not use a commercial service?

Because they’re harmful!

They profit off of your free labor, and extract value from the things that you produce in order to further enrich some of the richest people on the planet. They also tend to spread messages of unfounded conspiracy theories, hatred and violence at a disproportionate rate. See Social Media Revolution for more thoughts on this topic.

Why Creative Commons?

Because, for most creators, the problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity. We help us, and the creative commons license helps us help us.

Are there prizes?

Several! Exact details to come, but selected films will be awarded with plaques or trophies and a cash prize.

Anything else?

Let us know if you have any questions.