Provo’s Pocket Film Fest highlights phone filmmakers

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Savannah Hawkins
Pocket Film Fest Photo Booth

Filmmakers who attended the second annual Pocket Film Fest, Sept. 1–5, only needed a smart phone and a vision.

“Filmbreaker” Jason van Genderen spoke and taught workshops. There were also a few special guest panels.

Van Genderen taught about his breakthrough career as a filmmaker on the small screen in his workshops.

“It was an accidental journey that started in 2008. I was stuck in a rut with big films and I thought, ‘Can I tell a story with this?'” van Genderen said, referring to a Nokia cell phone. The result was a short film that won multiple awards.

Cooper Epps is a 21-year-old North Carolina native hoping to major in communications. Epps discovered the event through an email from Six Week Cinema.

“I went on Jason’s website and was fascinated,” Epps said. “I wanted to learn more, since I want to do commercials and all I have is an iPhone.”

According to van Genderen, everyone is “overqualified for storytelling,” which is what filmmaking is all about for the Australia-based filmmaker.

“The core ingredient you need to become a fantastic filmmaker is you,” van Genderen said. “Being a story teller is really about being human.”

Savannah Hawkins
Evan Carpenter takes a photo of attendees of the first screening. Left to right: Joe Wilson, Grace Wilson, Ryan Ward, Keri Dyer, Jeff Larsen, Heidi Olsen. (Savannah Hawkins)

Austin Craig, co-founder of the Pocket Film Fest, said that he wants next year to be bigger and better, and he wants to “bring together all kinds of creative people.”

Due to a miscommunication and double-booking at the Reclaim Events Center and the Madison Gastropub in downtown Provo, the event didn’t see many attendees.

Despite the miscommunication, Craig and co-founder Jordan Petersen worked hard to make Pocket Film Fest a success.

“It’s been a labor of joy and love,” Petersen said.

The final day of Pocket Film Fest included a special hands-on workshop with van Genderen, two screenings of the short, mobile-made film submissions, a live podcast and an awards ceremony.

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