South Korea’s Smartphone Film Fest

South Korea’s Smartphone Film Fest

South Korea's Smartphone Film Fest Accepting Submissions

South Korea's Olleh Smartphone Film Festival –designed for shorts made on mobile devices- is now accepting submissions from overseas for its newly added international section.

The Olleh Festival has added this new international section this year to become more competitive at a global scale. The festival – named after "Olleh", the brand slogan of KT Corporation, which is South Korea's first carrier of iPhones - has also introduced a section for children.

To be able to participate, shorts must be shot with a smartphone and the duration cannot surpass 10 minutes, regardless of genre. Videos must be submitted between February 1st and 28th through the official website ( The prizes comprise cash gifts that amount to 50 million won (US$46,910) and new smartphones.

The festival director Lee Jun-ik –known for box office hits such as King and the Clown- asserted that smartphones have "democratized cinema."

"It's amazing. Anyone, even a three-year-old kid, can make a video using a smartphone," Lee said.

This is particularly significant in Korea, where more than 60% of mobile phones in use are smartphones.

The film festival was launched three years ago after the iconic filmmaker Park Chan-wook created a short, Night Fishing, on an iPhone 4. The film won a Berlin Golden Bear.

Lee said the festival aims to encourage work from aspiring filmmakers and amateurs who have no access more expensive production equipment. Some candidates will make use of smartphone's video apps while others will choose to use PC tools. Participants can also make full use of equipment such as tripods or handgrips for phones and attachable camera lenses.

However, the director emphasized that regardless of the techniques employed, the essence of cinema –good storytelling- remains the same.

"We get all sorts of submissions. One time we even got a 3D movie that a candidate made using two phones. While it was creative we are looking for compelling stories and good storytelling," he said. "Our winning films last year were so good that they were invited to the Shanghai International Film Festival."

The third Olleh International Smartphone Film Festival will open in Seoul on April 17.