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Pocket Cinema

We've come a long way since French scientist, Phillipe Kahn, accidentally discovered that he could use his mobile phone to send pictures of his new born baby to relatives back in 1997; and yet, as Matthew Sweet finds out, we're only just scratching the surface of what can be done with film and phones.

These are exciting times for pocket film. Matthew hears from artists, film studios and advertisers about how films either made on or viewed on mobile phones are opening a host of possibilities and shaping a new future for the moving image.

At the centre of the programme is a specially commissioned "Pocket Film" by director Gurinder Chadha, which will be available to view via the Film Season's BBC webpage.

We visit the Paris Pocket Film Festival and join a group of children at a film-making workshop in London's East End on a mission to shoot a fashion video on their phones. We trail artist film-maker, Sylvie Prasad as she uses her mobile phone to shoot a film about, with and for her mother who has Alzheimer's and we hear from director Clio Barnard about her reasons for choosing a mobile phone to shoot her film "Dark Glass" about the unconscious and family memories.

Matthew talks to the people behind a land-mark road safety campaign film which was both shot on a mobile phone and illustrates the perils to pedestrians in doing - well, just that. He meets with John Maclean, whose film "Man on a Motorcyle", starring Michael Fassbender, was shot on a mobile phone, and finds out why the mobile film is here to stay, even though, now that you can shoot in HD on many smart phones, the low-res, pixelated aesthetic quality that used to characterise mobile films is a thing of the past.

What does the future hold for "pocket cinema"? We hear from an exec at Babelgum, a pioneering company behind most of the film/mobile link-ups we've seen with for example Sally Potter's "Rage", a film that premiered not in cinemas but on mobile phones. Hailed as the 'first independent online television company to cross over into full mobile internet', Babelgum is part of a network of companies at the coalface of exciting "transmedia" projects, bringing immersive video and films using geotagging to mobiles and other pocket device, and set to transform the pocket film...all over again.

Producers: Susan Marling and Hannah Rosenfelder
A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 26 Oct 2016 01:30