Give a student a mobile phone, and they’ll give you an award-winning movie.

That’s exactly what students did at this year’s Mosaic Mobile film competition. Mosaic Mobile is the Mosaic Film Experience’s (MFE) annual mobile filmmaking contest. One of the benefits of having students leverage mobile technology to shoot and edit a film is that it levels the content creation playing field.

This year, Adobe provided this year’s students with free licensing to use its Premiere Rush app to create and edit their movies.

“The competition empowers students to tell own their own narratives and expand the media landscape by adding their voice,” said Mallory Patterson, Mosaic’s education lead.

“They go deep. Every year you get a pulse for where students are at in life,” Mallory said. “The first few years we did Mobile, I cannot even tell you how many kids had stories about bullying. As the years went on, people opened up about their experiences as LGBTQ+ youth. We’ve had stories about mental health, either advocating to get help or tell their stories.”

Here’s how Mosaic Mobile works: All films are shot and edited entirely on a mobile device. Films have to tell a story in only 2-3 minutes. Each year, Mosaic Mobile requires films to feature a theme, prop, and saying. The criteria are intentionally left open ended to encourage student’s interpretation and creativity.

The top 10 films from the competition were screened at the Mosaic Event on November 4, and can now be watched on the MFE YouTube page.
A total of 64 films were submitted in this year’s competition. All films were judged by a panel of area film directors, media literacy professionals, and other industry professionals. The panel decided 10 finalists and declared three winners. Third place received $250, second place received $500, and first place received $1,000.

New for 2020, Adobe has offered an amazing opportunity for the four winners: mentoring sessions with Adobe pros during winter 2020–21 with the possibility of their work being screened at the 2021 Adobe Max conference.

Additionally, Interlochen Center for the Arts is generously providing the top three Mosaic Mobile winners with tuition coverage to a three-week summer Film & New Media programs at Interlochen Arts Camp and/or merit scholarships to attend Interlochen Arts Academy as a Film & New Media major starting in the fall 2021 semester.

A winner is also selected by public vote for the $500 Rick Wilson Memorial Award. Wilson, who passed in 2013, was an Emmy award-winning journalist, storyteller, and a leading voice in the area of equity, inclusion, and diversity. He was a long-time friend of MFE Founder Skot Welch, as well as an impactful member of the inaugural MFE team.

2020 films explored themes like students’ fears for the future concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, civil rights, and the pursuit of their dreams.

“This year, I thought we had many quality films to choose from. A lot of times, this is a student’s first film and they’re just putting it out into the world. A lot of them can be very goofy,” Mallory said. “But this year, I think because of the climate, I think students really dug deep.”

“Students really took the potential extra time they had this year to really think creatively about the meaning of their stories. We had some really great films to choose from,” Mallory said. “We’re going to continue to connect with students throughout the year to develop next year’s event.”

2020 Mosaic Mobile Winners:

Rick Wilson Award: Brezlynn Rose
Careerline Tech Center – “2020”

Third Place: Fiona Ehrlich
East Grand Rapids High School – “Possibili-keys (haha get it).”

Second Place: Madison Scott
Careerline Tech Center – “Project 5”

First Place: Xiangyu Chen
East Grand Rapids High School – “Possibility of Success.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *