Australia’s hit international smartphone film festival, the SmartFone Flick Fest (SF3) is ready to roll in February 2022.  And the bumper finals promise 70+ films – including one by an Academy Award winner!

The festival’s 7th big year will be live on screen in-cinema in two venues over the weekend of 26-27 Feb. PLUS online until 13 March. Early bird tickets are on sale now.

There were more than 300 entries for short films and 18 feature length films from countries all over the world. Of these, more than 70 will feature online with curated programs for the festival’s Gala Awards final, feature film and SF3 Mini screenings, SF3 Kids and SF360 categories.

The Gala Finals screening with its glittering awards ceremony takes place at Sydney’s Palace Chauvel Cinema, Paddington on Saturday 26 February. The 15 finalists include stunning short films from China, Italy, France, England and Scotland as well as a slew of Sydney, Melbourne and regional NSW entries.

Among them is “Leader” by English actor and filmmaker Chris Overton, a previous winner of an Academy Award for his short film The Silent Child.

The record number of SF3 Kids entries have been whittled down to the best 25 shorts by filmmakers 16 and under – to be screened at the Actors Centre in Leichhardt on Sunday 27 Feb.

This year’s Sydney lockdown meant the SF3 Mini category (formerly the ‘Iso’ Award) came into its own for films 3 minutes or less. With a theme of “RISE” – these movies partnered with the United Nations Association of Australia.

The 9 best Feature Films selected include two superb Australian entries: One Punch by AFTRS graduate Darcy Yuille and MISPLACED – a stunning debut movie from Sydney’s James Demitri about grief and mental health. Each will be screened with SF3 Mini programs on Sunday 27 Feb.

The finalist SF360 (360 degree) movies will all screen online – due to Covid restrictions.

Angela Blake (picture with her co-founder and festival director Ali Crew below and attached) said that throughout the pandemic and snap lockdowns around the world, filmmakers have become more innovative than ever. “Smartphones have enabled them to tell their stories during these extraordinary times. Crew added:  “With hard borders coming down – SF3 is looking forward to bringing filmmakers together
from across the country (and the world!) for a true celebration of creativity and ingenuity

One Punch feature filmmaker Darcy Yuille said SF3 was a top tier festival for smart phone films internationally. “To be included in the official selection and have my film screen for a live audience is a huge honour.”

There are over $50,000 worth of prizes, including mentorships, classes, memberships, apps, lenses, mics, phones and tablets… and more.

This year’s fest includes wonderful innovations too, including the inaugural SF3 First Nations Award – sponsored by Dolby. On offer for the winners are mentorships with SF3’s new Indigenous Festival Ambassadors: journalist and producer Stan Grant, actor and director Wayne Blair and high profile screenwriter Jon Bell (pictures below and attached). They join returning Festival Ambassadors Phillip Noyce, Kriv Stenders, Nicole da Silva, Jason van Genderen, Kerry Armstrong and Christopher Stollery.
The first ever SF3 Kids Ambassador is Emily Prior and the first African Ambassador is the extraordinary Wanuri Kahiu from Kenya (www.wanurikahiu.com).

Among the more than 30 other awards across the five categories are the #FILMBREAKER award for first-time filmmakers, Best Female Creative, Best Feature Film, two SF3 Kids Best Film awards (Teen and Junior/Primary) plus three new ‘gongs’: Best Documentary, Best Editing and the SF3 Luma Touch, Finished on Mobile Award – for a film that is both shot AND edited on a smart phone or tablet.

Filmmaker Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-proof Fence, Heatwave, Bluu Drift) says: “A smart phone is an instant portal to the world. These innovators have no fear of technology, no barriers to expressing themselves. These are truly our next generation of cinema pioneers… I’m in awe of their films.”

Saturday 26th February, 2022 – Palace Chauvel Cinema, Paddington
8pm – SF3 Gala Finals Screening & Awards Ceremony  presented by AFTRS
Sunday 27th February, 2022 – Actors Centre Australia, Leichhardt
11am – SF3 Kids Screening & Awards Ceremony
2pm  – SF3 Mini Screening  #1  & ‘One Punch’  Feature Film Screening
5pm – SF3 Mini Screening  #2  & ‘MISPLACED’  Feature Film Screening

For full details, bookings, access to online screenings and more, visit www.SF3.com.au

“The technology of today is moving swiftly and SF3 is positioned to usher new, exciting and dynamic filmmakers into the festival arena allowing those with the imagination, the passion and now the tools to create amazing stories on film. What a bright future the film industry can look towards as more people see access to the wonders of film making.” – Anthony Kierann, Actors Centre Australia

“AFTRS is excited to partner with the 2021 SmartFone Flick Fest. Connecting with an audience through strong storytelling is at the heart of what we teach at AFTRS and we are thrilled to support a homegrown international festival that so uniquely brings this to life.” – Con Apostolopoulos, Director of Partnerships & Development, Aust Film Television & Radio School

“The team at LumaTouch is very much aligned with SF3’s mission to provide a platform for aspiring mobile filmmakers to bring their stories to life. They are providing a global stage to showcase the work of emerging filmmakers and we’re proud to support the SF3 and their efforts to help these inspiring storytellers.” – Terri Morgan, co-founder, LumaTouch

The SF3 Gala Presenting Partner is AFTRS. SF3 Major Sponsor Luma Touch.
Bronze Partners are Chicken & Chips Casting, Accounting Heart, NIDA and Old Kempton Distillery.
Government Partner is the City of Sydney | Venue Partners are the Actors Centre Australia & Palace Cinemas.
Prize Sponsors: Struman Optics, Final Draft, Screen Actors Workshop, Story Board Quick, the ACS, Ribbet,
The Hub Studio, Laugh Masters Academy, Ink Tip, the AWG, Rode Microphones, Brazen Lot, iPitch.tv, WIFT Australia, AACTA/AFI, the ADG, SPA, Backstage, Shotlister, the AGSC, Film Local, Creative + Business & Satellite Print.

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