Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nominate Filminute for a Mashable Award

Something like this might help get Filminute and some of our shortlisted filmmakers even more on the map :-)

If you can remember to vote for Filminute once a day until end of November, that'd be great! Click the Mashable Awards (or the graphic on the left) to land on a page that votes for us.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Acrobatics, divine comedy and a good fright inspire the winning narratives at Filminute, the international one-minute film festival.

TORONTO/BUCHAREST, 7 October 2010 – After a month of online screenings, Filminute 2010 announced the award winners for this year’s film festival. CHOOSE NOT TO FALL, an inspiring and acrobatic documentary from the UK, has been awarded BEST FILMINUTE honours by the seven-member international jury. The unlikely mix of philosophy and real stunts made for exciting viewing and marks the first time that a documentary has won the top honours at Filminute.

Watch the Filminute 2010 Awards clip from Filminute on Vimeo.

The online festival audience from 124 countries, each viewer permitted one vote only, chose the Romanian comedy A NEW PRAYER for the People's Choice Award. A NEW PRAYER jousted with films from Iceland and South Africa and pipped ahead to finally win the popular vote.

The top-rated film was DARK VALLEY, an inventively frightening film from Iceland that all takes place in an SUV standing in the frozen tundra. The film accumulated a rating of 4.7 on the 5-star scale.  

CHOOSE NOT TO FALL is directed by Matthew Marsh and features Daniel Ilabaca, a likeable and talented practitioner of parkour — the urban and physical discipline where athletes train to overcome any obstacle in their path by adapting their movements to the environment. Ilabaca is one of the world’s leading parkour athletes and he is transcendental in his delivery of an articulate and optimistic message against “risk free achievement running rampant in youth culture,” as one juror wrote.

John Ketchum, Filminute’s co-founder and head of jury singled out CHOOSE NOT TO FALL as the most quoted film in the festival, with many references and comments from online voters and Facebook fans repeating Ilabaca’s line “If you’re afraid of falling you fall because you’re afraid.”

A NEW PRAYER won the People’s Choice award by generating fans from dozens of countries. Director Dorin Pene takes on the gates of Heaven in a one-scene film that proved to be broadly appealing. The film playfully uses instant messaging as a comedic device, with messaged pleas to a higher power arriving and constantly interrupting the two main characters. The director’s sensibility hints at the work of both Mel Brooks and Monty Python.

12 of the 25 films generated ratings of 4.0 stars or better. DARK VALLEY at 4.7 stars topped them all. “Alien meets Iceland”, quipped one rater of the film. Icelandic director Óskar Arnarson delivers a delightful fright with the most inventive use of side and rear view mirrors to build dramatic tension. And like many masterful horror films, Arnarson’s attention to sound design and ominous shadows is no accident.

The Jury
Seven international jury members judge the 25 shortlisted films and help maintain the high standards for which the Filminute festival has become known. Jurors are asked to evaluate the one-minute films with the same discipline and criteria by which they might evaluate a full-length feature film, animation or documentary. This year’s jury includes luminaries from the film, media, art and advertising worlds: Guardian contributor and film critic RONALD BERGAN; Academy Award-nominated director NEILL BLOMKAMP (DISTRICT 9); writer and director TANUJA CHANDRA; JAN LUMHOLDT of FIRPRESCI; MARK TUTSSEL, global chief creative officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide. Filminute’s co-founders John Ketchum and Sabaa Quao round out the jury.

5 Jury Commendations
The Filminute 2010 jury awarded commendations to 5 films ranked in the following order:

AUTO MADAR (INDIA) Directed by Vasan Bala
An assassin, already late for work, is further stymied by his inability to catch a cab.

GOODBYE MR. NICE GUY (ROMANIA) Directed by Ana Iliesiu & Matei Branea
A one-minute romantic comedy? Why not! Animation and live action are cleverly blended in this offbeat breakup story.

GUMBOOTS (SOUTH AFRICA) Directed by Bauke Brouwer
This gritty and ultimately triumphant story also distinguishes itself as the first film from South Africa to make the Filminute shortlist.

The simplicity of the film belies the complex story of a family haunted by the demands of the father’s ghost.

FLESH (NETHERLANDS) Directed by Maarten Rots
The persistence of a voyeur standing in the rain leads to a tense and uncomfortable confrontation.

“The range of countries and stories on the jury’s commendation list support the belief we stated when we started Filminute in 2006. One-minute films level the playing field. These films prove that no country has a monopoly on great stories,” says Filminute co-founder Sabaa Quao. “So many of this year’s films do prompt us to watch them two and three times in a row.”

This year’s award-winners were selected from a lineup of 25 films from 18 countries. The shortlist of 25 was narrowed from a field of more than 2000 film and animation screenings and submissions.

Impact of social media
Again, Twitter and Facebook play a key role in the promotion and growth of the festival. Filminute screened the full festival collection within Facebook, as a complement to the main screening room at The impact of social media on film and television properties appears to affect Filminute no differently than the mainstream industry. The festival organizers pointed out that Facebook users drove 30% of the festival’s audience, up from 15% last year. Facebook-driven audiences generated an average of 5 minutes of viewing time. Twitter followers generated an average of 8 minutes on the Filminute site. “We’ll be analyzing our audience habits and preferences over the next few weeks. We expect to be make even bigger strides helping filmmakers reach more audiences, and social media will play an increasingly bigger role in that process,” says Ketchum.

Founded in 2006 by John Ketchum and Sabaa Quao, Filminute is a unique and truly international film festival run by staffers in Bucharest, London, Toronto, Vancouver, and Panama. Each year, the festival experiment with different platforms to complement the main site.

The winning films and the complete Filminute shortlist can be viewed at and at In Canada, Filminute experimented with broadband video on demand and has a channel at

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Facebook + VOD are more important than television...

Give the TechCrunch article a read first.

We've been thinking about this for a couple of years, ever since we prototyped running festival screenings within Facebook (we ran a beta test of that during Filminute 2008). Entrepreneur Brad Stewart, using some of the mechanics of his AdJoy video platform, pulled the video stream of our festival films into Facebook. Two years ago, that feat was a lot harder to do than it is today. Facebook is now geared for this kind of thing. But in 2008, that successful trial got Filminute thinking far ahead.

Facebook, we decided, is more important than television. Facebook + video on demand are the directions we bet on to round out Filminute's platform reach (Incidentally, this year's broadband VOD trial is underway in Canada w/ Rogers' RODO platform; and our mobile VOD trial in India is coming soon via Jigsee).

During the all-important first week in September, Filminute customarily picks up a first round of momentum, and we gain our first reaction from the audience. No surprise, we quickly get a sense of which films have pull. What was new for us was the degree to which social media had become measurably important. Films that were shared via friends and peers drove deep engagement with our audience — 5 minutes viewing time from Facebook users, 8 minutes from Twitter users.
Taking what we've learned, wait'll you see our next stunt at Filminute 2011 ;-)

Filmmakers and creative producers who are not paying attention to these shifts are missing a glaring opportunity to chart some of their own destiny. While some of these social media platforms and technologies are unpredictable enough (*cough cough* MySpace...), it's worth familiarising yourself with the pattern of communication that probably will outlast any one platform. Facebook + Twitter are your BFFs (Best Friends For now...)