One of the most creative demonstrations that have spawned from the recent “drone invasion” is the number of drone-related film festivals that are popping up all over. One of the first major drone film festivals was last year in New York at the New York City Drone Film Festival, and was the subject of much publicity through major broadcasting and publishing networks.
The folks at SkyTango have provided a pretty comprehensive list of internationally-recognized drone film festivals. I’m sure this list will most likely double within the next year.
Let me share just a couple examples of what’s happening right now here in the U.S. and provide an example of the types of films and categories being presented at these festivals – everything from nature & landscapes to humor, humanitarian causes to action & adventure, and technical skills & demo reels. I’ll start with one close to home for me here in the San Francisco bay area, where I was one of several judges.
Bay Area Drone Film Festival
Packed Theater for 1st Annual Bay Area Drone Film Festival
The first annual Bay Area Drone Film Festival had their night last night on Feb 28th; a 2-hour show that ran up against Oscar night, showing on the big 80ft screen at the AMC 20 in Santa Clara, CA and played to a packed house of just under 500 engaged fans.
I was glad that I was able to attend the event as one of the judges of the festival, just to see just how well-received it was in person. I must say, for a first year effort, I was duly impressed by the amount of work that Clay Coleman and his team put into this festival and the event.
Here’s their festival trailer:
There were some outstanding prizes offered for the winners of each category, including products generously provided by primary sponsors, Multicopter Warehouse and Yuneec, with prizes valued over $12K.
Acrophobia – I’m afraid of heights–WINNER – DJI OSMO
Hello World–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Running into the Air
Exploding Cows–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Around The World–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Benefiting Humanity/Helping People:
Through The Lens–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Chesterton Windmill–WINNER – DJI OSMO
Red Beach of Santorini
Reels & Clips:
4K Aerial Showreel
Showreel 2014–WINNER – DJI OSMO
PIKTair Showreel 2015
Best of the Bay:
Aerial View of Filoli
Bay Area By Air–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
The Romance of Life–WINNER – Yuneec Tornado H920
New York City Drone Film Festival
The 2nd Annual New York City Drone Film Festival is right around the corner in a few days – but the March 5 screening is sold out already. They’ve added an additional screen on March 6 but you’d better hurry if you want tickets!
With the first year such a success, they’ve attracted some pretty big name sponsors such as GE, A&E Network and AXS.tv, as well as DJI, Yuneec, Adobe, B&H Photo-Video and Horizon Hobby, among many, many others.
With all of these drone film festivals popping up at major cities, regions and various UAV/Drone-related conferences and expos, we’re bound to see the bar be raised higher and higher in the coming year!