By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz January 29, 2011 at 3:29AM
The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) finishes the first phase of its Cinema Reloaded program with the launch of its first two crowd-funded short films. These films by Ho Yuhang and Alexis Dos Santos are supported by hundreds of individual donations from Cinema Reloaded co-producers. For them, the premiere on Sunday January 30 is a chance to see the work they have backed reach the big screen. It is also a celebration of the active commitment of the IFFR to support digital innovation.
The premiere of the Cinema Reloaded films by Alexis dos Santos and Ho Yuhang takes place Sunday January 30, 18.15 hrs, Pathé 3. To visit the website and download the report, go to: www.cinemareloaded.com.
In December 2009, The International Film Festival Rotterdam launched an ambitious experiment in film-making in the digital era: Cinema Reloaded allows filmmakers to directly connect with film lovers in order to finance and distribute their projects through combined online crowd sourcing and crowd funding. The participating directors are Alexis Dos Santos (UK/Argentina), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia) and Harmony Korine (USA), who replaced the Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist in September 2010.
Sunday January 30 is a chance to see the work they have backed reach the big screen. It is also a celebration of the active commitment of the IFFR to support digital innovation.
With the support of Cinema Reloaded co-producers Alexis dos Santos (GLUE, UNMADE BEDS) made the short film RANDOM STRANGERS, about two people on opposite sides of the world who enter into a relationship in a virtual world. Lulu and Rocky live in Buenos Aires and Berlin respectively. Their daily lives are very different to the exciting, fun virtual world they create for each other.
Ho Yuhang (AS I LAY DYING, AT THE END OF DAYBREAK) made the short film NO ONE IS ILLEGAL, in which he investigates a group of Indonesian fanatics who want to invade his home country Malaysia. He tracks the group in Jakarta and asks them why.
Both films will initially be made available exclusively for 24 hours to co-producers after the premiere and will then be free for all on IFFR’s YouTube channel during the festival.
At the premiere of the films, the International Film Festival will publish a special report on Cinema Reloaded. This report will evaluate this experiment with the potential of audience engagement, interactive film-making and digital business models on behalf of the wider industry. It looks for clues about audience engagement from Cinema Reloaded, consumer research and other crowd-funding work.
The report shows that impact of crowd funding is based on the ability to mobilize an audience, turning them into advocates. One very exciting element of crowd funding is that the audience is no longer the passive recipient of an end product, but has an active stake in the end product. For most film-makers this can only happen if there is a direct and personal relationship and that requires a great deal of commitment.
The IFFR is currently developing a second phase of Cinema Reloaded will be announced in the coming months. One of the aims of this second phase is to make the platform available to film makers who don’t have easy access to traditional funding structures.