Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bitfilm 2010: No Machinima?

Bitfilm one of the few international festivals that had a seperate machinima category seems to have dropped this category this year.

From their recent press release:

"Thanks to the Internet, filmmakers from all over the world can work together on one
feature film; the Internet audience‘s votes will determine the film‘s content. The Bitfilm Festival 2010 will be more than a festival - it will be a worldwide „crowd production“. Its result will be a full-length feature film on one topic: Money & Me. Filmmakers are asked to share their personal views on financial affairs."

"Via an online vote, the audience will decide which short films will be chosen for the final film in the following categories: documentary, fiction and animation. The most popular film in every category will receive prize money donated by the Cultural Authority of the Federal State of Hamburg. All selected films will receive a share in the film’s profits."

Since this year "it's all about money", it's clear why they had to drop machinima as a seperate category. You need to own all the content rights and since it's for commercial use it's even more difficult to achieve since that excludes to use most of the creative commons content as well to make your movie. The animation category might be a place one could seak in with tools like Moviestorm, iClone and SecondLife. The content final version of the film needs to be in HD resolution (2K). I have no idea if that could be produced by those tools in the quality they expect. Good to know that for the screening copy they accept all standard video formats.

Although an interesting concept to make, finance and distribute a film, I'm very disappointed we lost Bitfilm for machinima as a festival platform. Bitfilm was very supportive and helped a lot to spread the word about machinima worldwide over the last years.
Their topic "Money & Me." is interesting especially shortly after, or maybe still in between, the financial crisis. I'm interested to see what filmmakers around the world come up with.
Looks like 'Money' did win against machinima filmmakers again. Not only it's very hard to impossible to make any money with our creative work. Now 'Money' forces us out of Bitfilm festival. Can we strike back?

If you want to participate: Submission deadline is July 31, 2010


  1. 2K HD, eek!

    Well, it's an interesting concept, but a shame to lose the discrete machinima category.

    Was last year, when we saw many festivals recognising machinima seperately, a year for giving us a break? And will this year be one where festivals say grow up and cut it with the mainstream animation crowd?

  2. I'm optimistic that this is only a single event and we will have an even growing number of festivals for machinima movies.