The competition opened on Thursday, 15 November and closes on Sunday, 30 December. The top ten films will be uploaded to a dedicated Youtube site in January 2013 where the public can vote via sms for their favourite film. The best films will be screened at next year’s Jozi Film Festival, running from Friday, 15 to Sunday, 17 February.

“We love Jozi and we love film,” says Lisa Henry, one of festival’s founding members. “A lot have people have aspirations about making a film. Here’s your chance, Jo’burg.”

“The film can be about anything that inspires you; makes you happy, makes you sad. A slice of life. A homage to your gogo. A rant about rush hour traffic. An ode to jacarandas. Go mad, get creative, get out into our city and make a film on your phone,” says Henry.

The criteria are the films must be one to three minutes long and made in Johannesburg or by a Johannesburger anywhere. JFF sponsors Audio Network, a production music library, is also offering free music downloads to entrants and a R1 000 prize for Best Usage of Music in a Mobile Phone Film.

All the info one needs to enter can be found at The winners will be announced at the JFF closing ceremony, to be held at Villa Arcadia in Parktown on Sunday, 17 February 2013. The top three entrants will all win a Blackberry 9790, one year RIM plus airtime courtesy of Vodacom and the winner, and R5 000 in cold hard cash from the Jozi Film Festival.

“In the past, a network provider might have exclusively used television and radio advertising to reach and impress potential consumers,” says Vodacom’s Sergio Martins, brand manager: Youth. “Now it’s very different – it’s about leadership, reaching the community, and building up the people we’re talking to. Importantly, it’s about putting into action rather than merely talking. Words are just words, nothing more. The youth respond to action, and companies have to be seen to be acting on their promises.”

The Jozi Film Festival launched in February of this year with the South African premiere of Akin Omotoso’s Man On Ground, which has gone on to acclaim all over the world. “It’s time Johannesburg had something like this. I’m excited about the festival and hope it grows in the coming years. I love Jo’burg and I feel, as filmmakers, we haven’t yet managed to fully capture its essence,” says Omotoso. “But I love the regeneration I’m seeing.” It’s this energy and creative passion that JFF aims to promote and foster.

The brainchild of film-makers Lisa Henry and Shareen Anderson and community activist Brendon Burmester, the festival was born out of a desire to create a platform for local talent and to reach new audiences by taking films to venues not traditionally associated with film. Tickets for the festival are a mere R20 and some screenings will be free. Workshops will also be held during next year’s three-day festival, taking place from Friday, 15 to Sunday, 17 February 2013 and launching at The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Maboneng Precinct.

JFF extends a huge thank you to the 2013 sponsors and partners: Etana Insurance, Communications Advisory, Audio Network, Left Hand Films, Fort Greene Filmworks, Inspire, Deacon Designs and the newest partner, Vodacom, without whom the festival would not be possible.