SMS Sugar Man claims to be the first full-length feature ever made on camera phones. While my initial reaction to the concept was that it's a crappy, gimmicky idea that would result in something unwatchable, I'm now not so sure. A look around the movie's website makes it immediately clear that the camera phone thing is NOT a gimmick - in fact, you have to dig around to even find that fact. Instead, it seems like it was just a cheap (the movie cost $165,000, and was shot in less than two weeks with eight phones), creative way to make a movie. Instead of keeping the film in a digital format, South African director Aryan Kaganof transfered his footage to 35mm film, and the resulting product will be projected in theaters later this year. This approach is a far cry from the camera phone movies that have been made to this point, and appears to be the first true attempt to fully integrate the camera phone technology with traditional cinema.

Whether the movie is any good, however, is something else entirely. A trailer will be show for the first time next week at the African and Latin American Cinema Festival in Milan; it will also go up on the website at that point. Oddly, I can't find any information about the film's actual release date, but the plan is to make it available to watch on cell phones (in 30 minutes chunks), as well as in theaters, on TV, and on DVD.
categories Movies, Cinematical