Digital film festival debuts on the small screen

10 Jun 2005

Dublin mobile digital entertainment firm Wildwave has teamed up with digital film pioneer Darklight Film Festival to launch a new movie channel aimed at 3G mobile phones.

Entitled the Wildlight Channel, it will showcase fresh and original short-form film content from around the world. The channel is initially aimed at 3G phones and will feature animations and live-action shorts that are particularly suitable to small screens and a mobile audience.

“We see a young audience who are mobile and consume media in a fragmented and on-demand style,” says Stephen McCormack, CEO of Wildwave and chairman of the Wildlight Channel. “This audience is watching less TV, preferring to spend time on gaming, on the internet and increasingly on their mobile phones. There is a demand for innovative and entertaining films that people can relate to.”

It is understood the Wildlight Channel is in advanced discussions with mobile operators and expects to announce distribution deals for carrying the channel on 3G networks in the coming weeks.

The channel is expected to go live in Ireland initially, followed shortly after by the UK and North America.

It is envisaged the channel will operate on a video-on-demand model at first, offering 10 to15 films a month for download or stream and will later include a live stream continuous 3G channel offering. Each film will be in the one to five minute range. Pricing is expected to be on an operator by operator basis, with subscription being the preferred model.

“Because it is very early in the development of mobile video, the optimum lengths of what people will watch are still unknown,” explains McCormack, “so we are keeping the films below five minutes for now and we will assess this on an ongoing basis as people get more comfortable with the medium.

“We are on a mission to find the ideal type of content for mobile users. We intend to try lots of styles and genres to see what works and what is popular. Not unlike television in the Fifties, this is a young medium searching for the right content that plays to its strengths. The Wildlight Channel is confident that it has the right content for this medium.”

By John Kennedy