Mobilefest is an annual festival on mobile art and creativity which started in 2006 at SESC in São Paulo. It has developed a high profile in a very short period with an ambitious, internationally active programme developed by directors Marcelo Godoy and Paulo Hartmann who bring experience of the commercial media arena. Their aim is to bring together national and international practitioners/theorists working in private and public sectors engaged with innovation in locative media. Mobilefest claims to be the first international festival of this kind; its website at http://mobilefest.org/sets out mission and objectives, which include:
- to popularise mobile technology so as to contribute to social inclusion through the generalisation of knowledge, its use and possibilities of interaction promoted by these new communication media
- to promote cultural interchange among national and international researchers and producers of this area.
- to incentivise creative thought and production about the new technologies aiming to expand the possible hardware and software functions in the mobile technology sector.
- to stimulate the production of content in the mobile technology sector in Brazil in industrial production as well as by the independent creator, with the aim of balancing relationships.
- to facilitate the participation of those interested in producing and distributing content through the mobile communication networks.The focus of the festival in November 2008 was the question: how can mobile technology contribute to democracy, culture, art, ecology, peace, education, health and third sector?
In 2006 Mobilefest opened with a conference, exhibition and launch of awards for the best mobile works in the following categories: SMS Writing - Micro Stories and Poetry, Photojournalism, Video, Moblogs and Videologs, the I Mobilefest Awards. It hosted 14 overseas artists and researchers and 20 Brazilian artists and specialists. The second edition gathered together artists, researchers and panellists from many countries with five days of seminars, two days of boot camp and 30 days of exhibition. Also in 2007 simultaneous events were staged in England, at University of Westminster, at the Waag Society in the Netherlands and at New York University—ITP to further the goal of building a network of international festivals about mobile content production.
International activities include engagement with a network of festivals — Mobifest in Canada, Pocket Shorts in the UK, Pocket Films in France, Arte Mov in Brazil, Microfilmes de Lisboa in Portugal and The 4th Screen in the USA. They are working with Waag in Amsterdam on a joint project for 2009-2010 which relates to mobility and public space in São Paulo. Also at the R&D stage is a project with Active Ingredient, a British artist/design company, on a project linking the Amazon Forest and Nottingham Forest in England using broadcast, storytelling and locative media. The last festival was held in the recently reopened Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo.