By Sahil Patel
Late last week, while most of the online video industry’s attention was focused on what was happening in Anaheim, Machinima announced its plans for the second annual Machinima Interactive Film Festival, which looks to spotlight filmmakers and animators producing original content for the web.
The second MIFF has two major components, one of which is an offline exhibit housed at festival partner iam8bit’s LA studios. There, selected entries across three categories — Fan Film, Live Action Original, and Animation — will be on display from November 22–24.
The other is the festival competition, which will give four filmmakers the chance to produce a mini-series and/or a feature-length film to be distributed online and, potentially, in theaters. As Machinima describes it, for the first time in MIFF history, four winning creators will receive development deals for a three-episode mini-series, to be funded and distributed by Machinima. Of those four series, one will receive what amounts to the grand prize: the chance for the winning filmmaker to develop a 90-minute film, which will then be cut up into nine, 10-minute segments on Machinima. The company says the full-length version could also receive a limited theatrical release.
Machinima is no stranger to offering its online video network as a place to develop lucrative, multi-platform, multi-format franchises. All you have to do is look at the company’s role in resurrecting the “Mortal Kombat” franchise. Or how web incubation is the backbone of its development deal with Ridley Scott’s RSA. Now with MIFF, it wants to extend the same sort of opportunity to independent creators.
MIFF winners will be selected by a panel of Machinima staff and “industry insiders” across the three aforementioned categories. Machinima will also distribute other accepted selections, and house/promote them via the festival’s official website.