We’re pleased to announce the debut of Giant Interactive’s self-published app, Indiekid Portable Film Festival, in the App Store. Designed for both the iPad and iPhone, Indiekid showcases not only the work of passionate filmmakers who create short-form content specifically for kids, but also shorts created by kids. Intended as a living, evolving collection of short films, Indiekid will present a revolving and constantly changing program of shorts with titles only screening for a limited time. The app is currently ‘free’ in the App Store. The introductory line-up of shorts for kids showcases four titles:
- Bearly Alike from Sisbro Studios
- Baseball Card Shop by Kelly Kennedy
- Insect Poetry by Marilyn Zornado
- Bird Beat by Geogg Adams
An additional selection of four titles, these made by kids, are also featured.
- No Problem by Emma Bergen
- The Camel and Cactus by Children and Youth Program
- Cloud Warriors by Henry Bergen
- For A Coconut by Mathieu Labaye & Sonia Vidakovic
Each title can be viewed via streaming video optimized for the available bandwidth and device. Additional information about the filmmakers accompanies each title. Indiekid has been a passion project for Sean Anderson and fellow cinephile Shawn Bowman. Together the two have used their extensive relationships within the independent film community to connect with filmmakers whose work would otherwise be resting unseen on a film vault. Over the years Indiekid Films has curated children’s festival content around the country, introducing children and families to a host of outstanding films made by kids and adults from around the world. “Five years ago, when we started Indiekid“, said Anderson, “we considered releasing an Indiekid DVD. Now, with the ubiquity of mobile devices and the robust capabilities of video streaming technology, we thought that an app would be a much better distribution vehicle.” Of course, it made sense to develop the project at Giant Interactive. Leveraging his extensive design and creative management experience, Anderson leads Giant’s design studio and app development team based in the Denver office. Working with developers Nick Wooster and Ben Pilcher, the team put the app together on an accelerated schedule, culminating in a swift ‘thumbs up’ approval from Apple’s evaluators and subsequent listing in the App Store. “So many times, great children’s content is seen for a short window at film festivals,” noted Bowman, “and then seldom seen again. We wanted to create a way to showcase and celebrate these films. Sean suggested the idea of a co-development partnership to Jeff [Stabenau, President of Giant Interactive]. Jeff was very interested in the project as a technical ‘proof-of-concept’ for some concepts which Giant was working on and we had ‘green light’ before we knew it.” Stabenau declined to elaborate on the ‘other projects’ to which Indiekid‘s technology might contribute. In the first week, Indiekid has seen a number of downloads from all over the world. “We’ve been surprised by the number of countries which have received the app,” said Roger Baker, Director of Business Development for Giant Interactive. “We’ve had downloads in over ten countries. Thirty-seven percent of downloads have been from outside the US — Brazil, India, Russia. How inspiring to have such a broad international interest in Indiekid.” While the business model underpinning Indiekid is still being determined, Anderson and Bowman intend to keep the app ‘free’ to download. “We want to showcase the work of these filmmakers. So many people are contributing their time and support, including, most critically, the individual filmmakers and the Giant Interactive team. We’re very grateful for everyone’s efforts to make Indiekid available.” Inquiries to submit films for consideration for publication within Indiekid are welcome and should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.