- Giphy, the database and search engine for looped video clips, plans to host a film festival that will feature video clips no longer than 18 seconds. The Giphy Film Fest, scheduled for November 8 at the Metrograph Theater in New York City, offers a grand prize of $10,000 for a winning entry and a five-year hosting subscription from sponsor Squarespace, per the festival's website.
- Giphy started collecting entries on August 15 for original GIFs in five categories: narrative, stop-motion, animated, experimental and wild card. The deadline for submissions is September 27, and GIFs can be silent or have a soundtrack. Giphy asks that music soundtracks be original, royalty-free or properly licensed.
- Entries for the Giphy Film Fest may be submitted at its website, giphyfilmfest.com. The festival is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older, and participants can enter three unique GIFs for each category.
Giphy's film festival also appears geared toward younger smartphone users who have shown a penchant for shorter content while simultaneously urging more creators to develop content for its website, which mostly consists of clips from existing TV shows and movies. Telling a story in 18 seconds sounds challenging but the website for the film festival insists it is possible to tell a "compelling, creative, entertaining, professional-grade story in only 18 seconds or less." Earlier this year, Apple had a viral success with a three-minute film, showing the potential of shorter content. Giphy describes itself as a producer and distributor of "micro-entertainment content" with has more than 300 million users, and wants to promote GIFs as a storytelling art form, per Variety.
Giphy is picking up where Twitter left off when the company two years ago shut down the Vine app, which limited video clips to six seconds, amid an effort to cut costs and focus on turning a profit. Unlike Vine, Giphy's content is platform-neutral and can be shared on a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Giphy in 2016 created a software tool that let Vine creators convert their videos into a shareable GIF format.
Giphy is popular among advertisers that can create sponsored video clips that smartphone users share on social media or in messages. The company is adding more features that make its platform more similar to social media services. Giphy this month added its version of the popular stories format to its website. Like Snapchat and Instagram's stories — which string together multiple images in a single post — Giphy's version of the feature is a series of GIFs with subtitles. However, Giphy has faced the same type of brand safety issues as other social media services. Social platforms Snapchat and Instagram in March temporarily suspended access to Giphy after users discovered a racially charged GIF on its platform.