Watch the skies, movie fans.
The Flying Robot International Film Festival descends on San Francisco's Bay Area in November.
FRiFF is following up on the success of the New York City Drone Film Fest, which happened in March. While beautiful camerawork and statements about surveillance are familiar motifs in drone filmography, festival organizer Eddie Codel told Wired that drones need to be recognized as tools that benefit society. To that end, the festival will include a "Drones for Good" category.
Lawmakers have proposed crackdowns on drones, arguing that they could endanger commercial flights or be used as weapons.
But Codel pointed out that drones are often used to fight fires, find missing people, drop supplies into war zones and aid in anti-poaching efforts.
"These stories of good don’t get much attention," Codel told Wired. "So many people just assume the worst. With Drones for Good, I hope to offer another narrative as to why we should carefully consider drones as lawmakers start banning them everywhere."
Codel's idea didn't come out of thin air. Governments and companies around the world are already using drones to help people. While Amazon is still a few years away from implementing its drone delivery service, the World Health Organization and the government of Bhutan are investigating whether drones can be used to airlift medical supplies to remote mountain villages. An Iranian lab has developed a waterproof drone that it hopes to use in marine search-and-rescue operations.
Alongside the noble "Drones For Good" category, the festival will also include categories like aerial sports, comedy and student films.
It costs $5 to submit a film for consideration, and the submission deadline is Sept. 15. The selected films will be screened on Nov. 19 at San Francisco's Roxie Theater. Tickets are $15.
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