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Global vertical video to be crowdsourced on May Day, during Covid-19

BY Onwards, Upwards | 22-Apr-2020
A coalition of vertical (tall-screen) film festivals has launched a crowdsourced initiative for filmmaker-creators living around the globe under social distancing. We’re asking them to submit ONE VERTICAL SHOT encapsulating their lived experiences or hopes for the future on a single (extra)ordinary day in human history during Covid-19: May Day, 1 May 2020. They should be portrait-orientation vertical videos of up to 15 seconds, and the best will be curated into a single Creative Commons vertical short film called Onwards, Upwards.
One of the project coordinators is himself marooned on a North Sea island lighthouse during the pandemic. Photo: Adam Sébire
It’s a call-out for visual creatives who are unable to work collaboratively under various degrees of lockdown. The Vertical Film Festival in Australia and Vertifilms Prague in Czech Republic have united to coordinate production of a crowdsourced vertical short, Onwards, Upwards.

“It will be a moving image snapshot of a planetary pandemic,” says Adam Sébire, co-founder of the Vertical Film Festival in Katoomba, Australia, who is himself presently marooned in an isolated North Sea lighthouse due to border closures and filmed the project teaser there. “The title Onwards, Upwards opens up the question of what we can gain from this experience as we head into the future, visualised with vertical framing. Filmmakers who can’t work collaboratively due to social distancing restrictions here have an opportunity to express themselves creatively, collectively.”

"We picked the date of May 1st because it is a symbol of hope,” adds founder of Vertifilms Prague (Czech Republic) Krystof Safer. “The pandemic is global and so we want film makers and creators from whole world to unite virtually — they will be social distancing of course — to send a message about their feelings and hopes for the future. The lockdown, however long it has been for each of us, has taught us a thing or two. It will be great to share these thoughts and build a better future."

Guidelines for submission of a vertical video shot or sequence up to 15 seconds are on the project’s website along with a teaser video which may be freely distributed. Videos created on 1 May 2020 and submitted by 3 May will be curated by the festival directors, with the chosen shots then edited into a short vertical movie released freely across the web, again under Creative Commons, soon afterwards.