Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016

Drone Film Festivals are gaining traction

Drone Film Festivals are gaining traction

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.

Not long thereafter, there was another large film festival at InterDrone in Las Vegas last year, followed by the Flying Robot International Film Festival in San Francisco; Rise of the Drones Film Festival in the UK, plus many others around the globe. And now the trend is really picking up speed.

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

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.

Another big sponsor of the event was AirVūz who is hosting the festival’s submissions so you can see which films made the finalists and won in this years event. You can view all the finalists at this link.

Out of 207 entries, there were 27 “Official Selections” presented with the Winner of each category listed:

Landscape/Travel/Natural Wonders:

John Duncan Wild Scotland
Scott Sporleder Istanbul from the Air
Michael Bishop INTO THE WEST
Mathias Arvedsen Zanzibar from Above–WINNER – DJI Phantom 3 Pro Kit from Multicopter Warehouse


Chafic Saad 327
Philippe Woodtli Acrophobia – I’m afraid of heights–WINNER – DJI OSMO
Chafic Saad Drona

Technical Flying/FPV:

Nathan Schuett Hello World–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Sebastian Wöber Running into the Air


Derek Klingenberg Exploding Cows–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Jackson Hill Citizen Aim


Karim Iliya The Wind
Max Seigal Around The World–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon

Benefiting Humanity/Helping People:

Tom Davis Through The Lens–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon
Robert Frye Controlled Burn


George Krieger Bixby Bridge
Brent De Bleser White Heaven
Brent De Bleser Preikestolen
Mark Thomas Chesterton Windmill–WINNER – DJI OSMO
Chafic Saad Red Beach of Santorini

Reels & Clips:

Janis Klinkenberg 4K Aerial Showreel
Mike Gisselere Showreel 2014–WINNER – DJI OSMO
Fabrice Viguier PIKTair Showreel 2015

Best of the Bay:

Colin Snow Aerial View of Filoli
Ian Montgomery Bay Area By Air–WINNER – Yuneec Typhoon


Fredrick Gunnerson Riverflight
Laban DeBoer 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, as well as DJI, Yuneec, Adobe, B&H Photo-Video and Horizon Hobby, among many, many others.


I had originally posted here on Drone Coalition back in early December there was a “Last Call” on submissions, so I’m anxious to see what the finalists will be!

Here’s their festival trailer:

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!

  • Skytango

    Hi Jeff, thanks for mentioning our list of drone film festivals in your article. The 2 festivals you talk about are really great events – Marco, Skytango