Make a film or video, and submit it to us by Dec 20th.

We’re suggesting that it be an entirely original work constructed from scratch between the time you encountered the poster for the first time and the submission deadline, but I won’t fault you if you submit a piece you’ve been working on for a while.

This can be done for free! A cellphone or a webcam and a copy of Kdenlive (a free, open-source video editor) is more than enough to produce an enjoyable film.

Equipment, Education, and Resources for filmmakers are available from the Ellijay Makerspace.

We welcome Team submissions and will be happy to facilitate matching potential participants with other team members.

First-time filmmakers are highly encouraged to participate.

We require all submissions to be licensed under a Creative Commons license.

See the Creative Commons license picker for more information. (I’ll be using the CC-BY-SA license, but you’re welcome to use whichever open content license makes the most sense to you.)

You can send us submissions on VHS, DVD, or flash drive to:

Ellijay Makerspace 54 Kiker St, Ellijay, Georgia 30540

or upload it to our website (or your own website!). E-mail movies@ellijaymakerspace.org for a link to the upload box.

Please note that the above does not mention Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook, or any other commercial file-sharing service. Entries shared through a commercial ‘big data’ service will be disqualified.

Why a film festival?

We must create our own media.

See, it’s like this: When we buy media from major corporations, we transfer money and attention (and therefore power) out of our local communities and into the pockets of CEOs and shareholders. When we make media or watch media from our communities, that same wealth, attention, and power stays within our communities.

Until recently, there were economic and logistic obstacles that prevented communities from providing the same kind of Community alternatives for most kinds of media. Thankfully, this is no longer true.

Countless news stories of the last few years broke on Twitter, or Facebook thanks to a citizen journalist and their smartphone. There have been many TV show-style series released on the web by amateurs and professionals alike.

People are making their own media, and that’s awesome.

For the first time in the history of mass broadcasting, anyone can reach an audience of millions. (Sure, at the moment, we largely rely on corporate behemoths like Google and Facebook to do it, but the DIY Tech movement is well underway.)

The products of modern hobbyists can rival and surpass the output of media conglomerates both in terms of quality and consumption in nearly every field.

So, let’s do it.

Why not use a commercial service?

Because they’re harmful!

They profit from your free labor and extract value from the things you produce to enrich some of the richest people on the planet. They also tend to spread messages of unfounded conspiracy theories, hatred, and violence at a disproportionate rate. See Social Media Revolution for more thoughts on this topic.

Why Creative Commons?

Because, for most creators, the problem isn’t piracy. It’s obscurity. We help us, and the creative commons license helps us help us.

Are there prizes?

Several! Exact details to come, but selected films will be awarded plaques or trophies and a cash prize.

Anything else?

Let us know if you have any questions.