5 Movies Filmed on a Smartphone

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August 6, 2012

Smartphones have taken over our lives so it should come as no surprise that there are actually movies being filmed on these devices. These are not just short videos, but real movies with actors, plots, directors and musical scores. Some are promotional tools for the phones maker, but others are true films.

The Internet now has a number of sites that provide information on making movies with just a smartphone. Smartphone manufacturers are taking note and so are app developers. Special movie-making apps are now being released for the various smartphones on the market. Some notable films created using these are:


This film, starring 81-year old award-winning actress Gena Rowlands is reputedly the first full-length film to be filmed entirely using a smartphone. Directed by radio show host Hooman Khalili, this movie was shot with a Nokia N8 smartphone.
Olive is the story of a young girl who helped to change the lives of three characters without even speaking. This is the first smartphone-filmed movie to be shown in a cinema. The film cost $500,000 to make.


This short documentary is about the homeless in Sydney, Australia. This documentary features a number of homeless men explaining why they ended up living on the streets. These men with careers, give a face to homeless. It was filmed by Jasonvan Genderen using the Nokia N8 smartphone.

The Swarm

A nine-minute horror film directed by Tom Harper, it focuses on a group of teens looking for some action in London. In their quest to find willing partners, they come in contact with the swarm — living, Xperia smartphones. The short was written by Geoff Busetil and Daniel Kaluuya. It was filmed as a promotional and marketing tool by Sony for the company’s Xperia Arc S smartphone.

Night Fishing

This film by South Korean filmmaker, Park Chan-Wook won the Golden Bear Award for Best Short at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival (IFF) in 2011. The movie was filmed using the iPhone 4 with some help from regular filmmaking equipment and lenses. The story is about a man who goes fishing and finds a dead woman at the end of his line who comes alive as he works to release the body.

Apple of My Eye

This movie by Michael Koerbel was not only shot using the iPhone 4, it was also edited using the phone’s iMovie app. The film was the winner of the first IFF. Majek Pictures, the company responsible for the short film has also created a series, Goldilocks, filmed entirely with the iPhone 4.

Other Movies

Dragonfly Love, Arrival and Splitscreen: A Love Story, are three offerings that were filmed using smartphones. These movies earned recognition from movie lovers and critics alike.

Splitscreen was the winner of the 2011 Nokia Shorts Competition. The production team included, J. W. Griffiths (director), Kurban Kassam (producer), and Marianne Kuopanportti (editor). It will be only a matter of time before more of these movies are released in cinemas as well as receiving consideration for major awards.

Sending video clips and accessing social networking sites are also popular ways to utilize the features of these devices. Finding a phone that fits your needs will help make it so much more affordable to send messages, images and videos. As more people start using their phones to do more than take video snippets, these plans will continue to provide greater flexibility.

SmarthPhone Film Festivals?

So popular is the idea of shooting full-length movies with smartphones, that there is now a festival dedicated to them — the Smartphone Film Festival. In fact, there are now more of these film festivals being staged worldwide. Some festivals such as the iPhone Film Festival, are dedicated just to movies made using the iPhone.

The categories for films made using smartphones rival those of other more established film festivals. Filmmakers can enter works in categories such as:

  • Featured films
  • Documentary
  • Animation & Stop Motion
  • Series
  • Music videos

As the smartphone technology continues to improve, there is little doubt that this trend will continue to grow. The movie business is all about innovation and profitability. With quality movies being made at a fraction of the cost using smartphones, Hollywood will be taking note.

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  • Diesel Fumes

    I guess the question would be “Why?” When you can use a full function DSLR. Cool idea I will say.

  • I think the point was in the “proof of concept” side of it. A DSLR is not as affordable as a smartphone, and the point is to show how accessible movie-making can be for people that have ideas and talent, but lack proper filming equipment.