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Cell phone movies: big name directors to hit the tiny screen

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Meeting at the Beijing Film Academy yesterday, directors representing several generations of Chinese cinema discussed plans to shoot movies expressly for viewing on mobile phones. They believe that the time is ripe to take advantage of the technology, despite the graininess, high compression, and poor sound quality of most mobile phones. This follows the big cell-phone media story from last year, fiction serialized over SMS.

Scripts will be solicited in an open competition on the Internet, and ten will be choosen for production. After being polished by professional script doctors, the scripts will be filmed as three- to five-minute features, and then released for downloading onto mobile phones.

Xie Fei (Song of Tibet) believes that mobile phones could give non-specialists a platform to distribute their movies. Xu Jinglei (Letter from an Unknown Woman) thinks the unique restrictions of the phone screen might give rise to a new art form.

An anthology film, Focus on this Moment, made up of eight three-minute segments by different directors, will also be released to mobile phones when it premieres in July.

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