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SA makes Filminute shortlist for first time

LONDON/BUCHAREST/TORONTO: For the first time, a South African film has made the shortlist for international one-minute film festival Filminute, which is now in its fifth year. "Gumboots" by Bauke Brouwer is one of 25 finalists from 18 countries.
Every year, throughout the month of September, Filminute presents an extraordinary array of 25 films for festival-goers around the world to screen, rate and vote for online. The "Best Filminute" prize and five commendations are awarded by Filminute's jury, which this year includes District 9's director Neill Blomkamp.

"Truly shows"

John Ketchum, festival co-founder and head of jury, told Bizcommunity.com, "'Gumboots' truly shows what kind of potential a one-minute film can achieve. It resonates far beyond the one-minute." To view Brouwer's film, go to www.filminute.com/2010/screeningroom/index.php?id=114.

The public is invited to vote for its festival favourite as the "People's Choice" winner. The Filminute awards will be announced soon after the festival closes on 30 September 2010.

The 18 countries represented include Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, the UK and the US, with Poland, South Africa and Turkey seeing their first contributions ever to the exclusive shortlist.

Ketchum is enthusiastic about the breadth of cultures and perspectives represented on the Filminute 2010 shortlist. "Every year, we've seen a wider range of films and genres, but this year's collection most definitely represents a high point.

"Unprecedented amount of wry humour"

"There's a dark and threatening vision of the world that comes through, and there are also a number of films that reflect on moments of contemplative wisdom. At the same time, there is an unprecedented amount of wry humour in the collection that we know audiences will appreciate. Clearly the state of the global economy is getting into creative people's heads!"

Ketchum notes the impact on the storylines and styles of the 25 films. "Place of origin and environment are so important to many filmmakers. It's what shapes them as people and helps to inform their storytelling. Filminute audiences will again be amazed by what a filmmaker can tell you, or infer, in 60 seconds - no more, no less."

This year's jury includes luminaries from the film, media, art and advertising worlds: apart from South African-born and Academy Award-nominated director Neill Blomkamp (District 9), there's also Guardian contributor and film critic Ronald Bergan, writer and director Tanuja Chandra, Jan Lumholdt of Fipresci; and Mark Tutssel, global CCO for Leo Burnett Worldwide.

"Every year we obsess about maximising the festival's accessibility," says Filminute co-founder Sabaa Quao. "We continue to push the festival forward via relevant and emerging technology platforms.

"Within the most social of places"

"This year we'll have screenings within the most social of places: Facebook, starting on 3 September. In Canada, we'll be testing our legs on Rogers Communications' broadband video-on-demand (VOD) platform. And in India, we'll be trying out a mobile VOD platform that we think will give us great insights into how to get video content on more than just smartphones."

"Filminute on Facebook not only allows people to watch films in an environment in which they are social, but it also allows for a sustained discussion among online viewers. This immediacy not only sets Filminute apart from conventional film festivals, it generates massive audience views."

"We're not fussy about what constitutes a 'valid' screening venue; we just want the films to screen at ease wherever and whenever the audience wants," says Quao. "Statistically during the festival month of September, we have seen that every 20 seconds someone somewhere watches a Filminute film from our shortlist. That's incredibly satisfying."

For more, go to www.filminute.com, www.facebook.com/filminute and follow @Filminute on Twitter (use hashtag #Filminute to identify Filminute-related tweets).


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