Visiting today:
Int’l Kingdom Smartphone Film Festival.
Interview with Paul-Esupofo Oriade, royal director and founder of the film festival.

Q.Can you tell us about how the history of your film festival began? What was the original idea?

The history of the Int’l Kingdom Smartphone Film Festival (IKSFF) is a story of innovation, creativity, and a passion for both filmmaking and faith. It all began with a simple yet profound idea: to create a platform where Christian filmmakers from around the world could showcase their talents and share their stories, all while utilizing the accessible and versatile tool of a smartphone.

The original idea stemmed from recognition that filmmaking had become more democratized than ever before, thanks to the ever-improving quality of smartphone cameras and the widespread availability of these devices. Filmmaking was no longer limited to those with expensive equipment and extensive resources. Anyone with a smartphone has the potential to become a storyteller and a filmmaker.

Furthermore, there was a desire to celebrate and promote the values of faith, hope, and love through the medium of film. This was a vision to create a platform where filmmakers could explore themes related to their Christian faith, share their perspectives, and connect with a global audience who shared similar beliefs.

In October 2022, the first edition of IKSFF was launched, marking the realization of this vision. Christian filmmakers from various backgrounds and locations embraced the opportunity to tell their stories through the lens of a smartphone. The response was overwhelming, with filmmakers demonstrating remarkable creativity and artistry.

The inaugural edition of IKSFF was not only a showcase of short films but also the birth of a vibrant community. Filmmakers found common ground in their shared passion for both faith and filmmaking, forging connections and collaborations that transcended geographical boundaries.

As IKSFF continued to evolve and grow, it maintained its commitment to accessibility and inclusivity by waiving entry fees, ensuring that aspiring filmmakers, regardless of their financial means, could participate and have their voices heard on an international stage.

The history of IKSFF is a testament to the power of innovation, community, and the boundless potential of smartphone filmmaking. It’s a story of filmmakers coming together to share their faith, their stories, and their vision with the world, and it continues to inspire and empower Christian filmmakers worldwide to this day. The Film festival directors are  Paul-Esupofo Oriade and Grace Oriade.

Q.What goals and objectives did you face when creating the festival? How have they changed over time?

When creating the International Kingdom Smartphone Film Festival (IKSFF), there were several goals and objectives in mind, which have evolved and adapted over time to better serve the festival’s mission and the filmmaking community. Here are some of the initial and evolving goals and objectives:

Promoting Accessibility and Inclusivity:

Initial Goal: The primary aim was to create a film festival that was accessible to all, regardless of financial means or access to expensive filmmaking equipment.

   – Evolution:

 This goal has remained a cornerstone of IKSFF. Over time, it evolved to specifically emphasize the importance of breaking down barriers to entry, making sure that anyone with a smartphone and a story to tell could participate.

2. Celebrating Christian Filmmaking:

Initial Goal: The IKSFF was established to celebrate and promote Christian filmmaking and storytelling. It aimed to provide a platform where Christian filmmakers could express their faith and values through their films.

   – Evolution:

 This goal has remained constant. However, it has expanded to encompass a broader range of Christian perspectives and storytelling styles, ensuring a diverse representation within the festival.

3. Building a Global Filmmaking Community:

Initial Goal: IKSFF sought to foster a community of filmmakers who shared a passion for filmmaking and faith.

   – Evolution:

This objective has evolved to emphasize not just community-building but also collaboration among filmmakers. IKSFF encourages networking, mentorship, and partnerships within the global Christian filmmaking community.

4. Showcasing Smartphone Filmmaking Potential:

   – *Initial Goal:

 IKSFF aimed to demonstrate the potential of smartphone filmmaking as a legitimate and creative medium.

   – Evolution:

 This goal has grown to include showcasing the continuous advancements in smartphone camera technology and filmmaking apps. IKSFF encourages filmmakers to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with a smartphone.

5. Providing Opportunities for Emerging Filmmakers:

   – Initial Goal:

 IKSFF intended to create opportunities for emerging filmmakers to gain recognition and exposure.

   – Evolution:

This objective has expanded to provide not only recognition but also opportunities for mentorship, distribution, and career development for promising filmmakers.

6. Spreading Positive Values:

   – Initial Goal:

IKSFF sought to use filmmaking as a means to spread positive values, such as faith, hope, and love.

 – Evolution:

 This goal has remained a core objective, emphasizing the festival’s role in promoting meaningful storytelling that inspires and uplifts.

Over time, IKSFF has continued to adapt its goals and objectives to stay aligned with the evolving needs of filmmakers and the changing landscape of smartphone filmmaking. While its core values of accessibility, community, and faith-driven storytelling remain constant, the festival remains flexible in responding to emerging trends and challenges in the world of filmmaking.

Q. How is your film festival different from other similar events? Are there any special features that make it unique?

IKSFF stands out from other film festivals due to its unique focus on films shot entirely on smartphones by Kingdom-driven Christian filmmakers. What sets it apart are:

– Accessibility: IKSFF is committed to making filmmaking accessible to everyone. It waives entry fees, allowing aspiring filmmakers from all backgrounds to participate.

Global Community: It fosters a global community of filmmakers, promoting collaboration and connections among creators who share a passion for faith and filmmaking.

Smartphone Emphasis: IKSFF highlights the potential of smartphone filmmaking, emphasizing the democratization of the art form.

– Faith-Centered: The festival celebrates faith, hope, and love as central themes, making it a unique platform for Christian storytellers.

Q. What categories of films participate in your festival? What are the selection criteria for films and participants?

IKSFF typically includes categories like Short Film, Documentary, Animation, and more. The selection criteria encompass storytelling quality, production values, originality, and adherence to festival themes. Participants are expected to adhere to the festival’s rules and guidelines, including filming entirely on a smartphone.

Q. What is the international character of your festival, and which countries are actively participating in it?

IKSFF prides itself on its international character, attracting Christian filmmakers from around the world. Countries actively participating can vary from year to year, but it often includes filmmakers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and various European, African, and Asian nations.

6. Can you give advice to aspiring directors and filmmakers who dream of taking part in your festival?

For aspiring filmmakers:

– Embrace Technology: Familiarize yourself with smartphone filmmaking tools and techniques.

– Tell Your Story: Focus on storytelling; your message is key.

– Stay True to Your Faith: If your work is faith-driven, ensure your film authentically reflects your beliefs.

– Network: Build connections within the Christian filmmaking community.

– Submit Your Work: Don’t hesitate to submit your film to IKSFF; it’s a platform for emerging talent.

Q. How do you see the impact of your festival on the film world and the film industry?

IKSFF contributes to the film world by:

– Showcasing the potential of smartphone filmmaking.

– Promoting meaningful, faith-driven storytelling.

– Providing opportunities for emerging filmmakers.

– Fostering a global community of filmmakers.

– Encouraging the exploration of themes related to faith and spirituality.

Q. Does the festival have any innovations or changes that you would like to talk about?

IKSFF continuously evolves to reflect emerging trends in smartphone filmmaking. It’s committed to remaining accessible and inclusive while adapting to technological advancements and storytelling innovations.

Q. What are your plans for the future of your film festival?

The future of IKSFF involves:

– Expanding its global reach, reaching filmmakers from even more countries.

– Increasing opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.

– Exploring new ways to support emerging talent.

– Continuing to champion the art of smartphone filmmaking.

– Remaining a beacon for faith-driven storytelling in the film industry.