Mobile networks keep saying it, and now Robert Redford believes it too: the next step for mobile technology is to get people watching TV on their phones.
Redford’s Sundance Institute in association with the GSM Associationhas commissioned six filmmakers to create shorts designed to be watched on mobile phones. They will debut at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February.
The filmmakers include Nathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who were behind the brilliant comedy Little Miss Sunshine, and Maria Maggenti, who created Puccini for Beginners.
The films will be available during the conference for download from the Sundance Institute’s website and via Bluetooth from booths around the show floor. The Institute is also working to get mobile operators around the world to offer the shorts as part of their multimedia content after the conference concludes.
At the Robert Redford Museum of Television and Radio in New York, Redford said about the plan, “Sundance was created to become a place for creating new voices in film and to nurture that development. The cell phone represents a new venue for where we go next”.
He may have quite a battle on his hands to convert the masses to the idea, as a recent study by JupiterResearch found that 88% of all respondents said they weren’t interested in watching video on a portable device.
Some attribute public apathy to the technology to the high cost of data downloads on mobiles, but it’s equally likely that people aren’t eager to view video on tiny screens, when they’re used to their behemoth flat screens at home.