By Sam Dallas

The new age of filmmaking has arrived in Australia. And it involves shooting everything on your mobile phone.

“Today is a historic moment where we’re introducing mobile filmmaking in Australia,” Mobile Screenfest director Avi Ratnanesan told INSIDEFILM.

“It gives everyone in Australia the ability to tell a story – without the need for funding.

“Now everyone has that storytelling tool in their pocket. It’s new media and it’s the future of filmmaking.”

His comments come before tonight’s first ever ‘screening and awards night’ of Australia’s first Mobile Screenfest, which will be held in Sydney’s inner-west.

Judges for the inaugural festival Down Under include Packed To The Rafters' Diarmid Heidenreich and Underbelly’s Dieter Brummer.

The idea came about after Sydney-based Ratnanesan, who is also the director of Araya Pictures, and Professor Karl Bardosh – an award-winning filmmaker who teaches at New York University – met in Los Angeles last year.

“We discussed the idea of having a mobile phone festival in Australia,” Ratnanesan said of the meeting which took place after he won an award for slapstick short The First Date at the LA, film festival event.

"I came back here and engaged with a lot of stockholders and they said this was something Australia was looking for."

Prof Bardosh had launched mobile screenfest’s in other countries successfully – such as in India – and thought it was a perfect idea to launch it in Oz.

“It’s a historic night,” Bardosh told INSIDEFILM on his quick trip to Australia.

“The smart phone is ‘Hollywood in your palm’ because you can actually manage every aspect of filmmaking through a smart phone.”

Bardosh is currently writing a book entitled Cell Phone Cinema, which will be released next year.

Hosted by Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards winner Amelia Jane Hunter, the festival will take audiences through some of the best Australian videos and photos captured on mobiles – whether that’s high-speed chases through the city, comedy sketches or emotional dramas.

A portion of the funds raised will go to charity organisation “Youth Off The Streets” and tickets can be purchased online.

For more information, go to the official website.

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