Part V: DIGITAL FILMS ON MOBILE PHONES AND CABLE TV
The Role of Information and Communication Technology in the Area of Arts, Culture and Heritage: Digital Cinema
Eloisa May P. Hernandez
Though not as prevalent as the internet in terms of circulating digital films in the Philippines, the mobile technology holds tremendous promise. With the introduction of 3G in the country by the two largest mobile providers, SMART and GLOBE, distributing digital short films through the mobile phones is now being explored. With the proliferation of cellular phones equipped with a video camera, one can make a short film easily. The world’s leading mobile phone maker, NOKIA, sponsors Nokia Shorts, an international competition of short films made by using Nokia mobile phones. Nokia is also the major sponsor of Mobile Filmmakers Awards. Filipina Janice Yu won the Mobile Filmmakers Awards in 2005 by using her Nokia N90 to shot underwater scenes in Anilao, Batangas. Another Filipino, Noel Osting, won as Best Editor. The Mobile Filmmakers 2006 Awards had two Filipino finalists – Reynaldo de Guzman and Joel Cardenas. The digital films shot using a Nokia mobile phone is available for viewing at the Mobile Filmmakers Awards website and will also be shown at the international cable channel Discovery. It has not been distributed via mobile yet.
Mobifilms has a portion dedicated for the more established filmmaker such as Singapore’s Kelvin Tong and Bertrand Lee and Malaysia’s Yasmin Ahmad. The Philippines is represented by Jeffrey Jeturian’s Tracking Shots .
There have been efforts though, to use mobile phone technology to distribute television soap operas. ABS-CBN Interactive and Globe is pioneering Mobisoaps, the first ever series created exclusively for mobile phones. Digital short films on mobile phones may not be far behind.
Cable TV also promises to be a good avenue to distribute digital films. Finalists for the Cinema One Originals film competition are screened on the Cinema One cable channel. Unfortunately, like the mobile technology, its potential has not yet been fully explored. On regular local TV, ABC 5 airs documentaries on its late night show called DOKYU. It has since been transformed as an avenue to show independent and mostly digital short films in a show called SHORTS: Istilong Iba, Indie Pelikula.
Part VI: FUTURE PROSPECTS to follow.
Commissioned by the DOST, Presented at the ICTD4 Roundtable Discussion, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, January 30, 2007. Published in the book The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Digital Cinema. Information and Communication Technology in Philippine Art, Heritage and Religion. Department of Science and Technology in 2008.