Do You Have a Smartphone? This Film Festival in Australia Might Be for You

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Photo Source: Courtesy Alice Donovan Rouse/Unsplash

If you’re looking for a place to send the film you’ve shot on your iPhone or tablet, the SmartFone Flick Festival (SF3) might be the perfect place for you. Based in Sydney, Australia, the festival began in 2015 and spotlights the works of filmmakers of all ages and experience levels. We spoke with co-founder Angela Blake about the origins of the fest, what they look for in submissions, and the advice she’d offer beginners.

Tell us about the SF3 Festival.
SF3 or the SmartFone Flick Fest is Australia’s international smartphone film festival for filmmakers of all ages. We are a worldwide festival open to anyone with a smartphone or tablet and a great idea for a short film. SF3 provides a platform for budding, emerging, and professional filmmakers to bring their ideas to life and have their films seen by a global audience, without the need for lots of fancy equipment or a big budget.

Why was the SF3 Festival started?
[Co-founder] Ali Crew and I met whilst working on a play in the Short + Sweet Theatre Festival. We loved the concept of the festival, which provided the opportunity for anybody to perform and have their work seen in the theatre, we realised there was nothing like it for filmmakers and we wanted to change this. Just about everyone now has access to a smartphone or a tablet, therefore the democratisation of filmmaking is here and we strive to be at the forefront of this new exciting movement!

What is the main goal of the festival?
The main goal of SF3 is to make filmmaking affordable and accessible. We aim to provide a platform for anyone to make a film and have it seen on the huge screen by a large local and global audience. Our vision statement is: “Inspiring anyone with a smartphone to tell their stories through film.” We are also passionate about inspiring and nurturing the next generation of filmmakers through our SF3 Kids and workshops. 

SF3 co-founders Angela Blake + Ali Crew

How can aspiring participants get involved? 
You have until Aug. 1 to enter your films at We have over $40,000 worth of prizes from our amazing sponsors, and you will have your film screened at Event Cinemas George Street in Sydney, which is Australia’s largest cinema.

What do you look for in submissions?
We are are always telling filmmakers it’s all about story. ALL ABOUT STORY. Make sure you have a great story first because that is what audiences want first and foremost. Nearly anything (except bad sound) can be forgiven if the story is good. But that being said, we also look for beautiful cinematography, films that make us laugh or cry, and great documentaries. Plus we accept VR and 360 videos, and smartphone feature films.

What advice would you give beginners?
I say do it. Just make your film. Stop talking about it and pick up your phone and start shooting because you become a filmmaker when you make a film. The only limitation is you. And the more films you make, the better you’re going to get. Make, make, make. 

What do you wish people knew about the festival?
I want everyone to come and experience how amazing all the films look up on the big screen at SF3, films that were all shot on phones or tablets, and they screen on the huge screen in absolute brilliance. SF3 is fun, relaxed, and all about empowering everyone to pick up their phones and tell a story. Ali and I are really nice people and you can email us at anytime asking for advice. We will always take the time to answer any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to write us.

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