In Pictures: Smartphone Filmmaking Class by SF3 and WIFT NSW

This Smartphone filmmaking class was presented by Angela Blake and Megan Riakos.

Angela Blake is a Sydney girl who grew up dancing, singing, and acting from the age of four. The last few years have seen her working as an actor primarily in television. TV credits include the recurring role of Duty Nurse on Season 6 of Channel 7 and Foxtel’s, A Place To Call Home, Love Child Season 1, Top of the Lake Season 2, and Deadly Women Season’s 9 & 10.

She has worked as a performer on stages all over the world for companies including Princess Cruise Lines, M.E.I., The Entertainment Store, and many others. She lived in LA from 2010-2012, graduating from The New York Film Academy’s Acting for Screen Program. She then went on to shoot countless shorts and web series, many touring the festival circuit. She has also worked extensively in theatre and her credits include: The Silence Came, Love Game, Surprises, The Odyssey, The Crucible, The Silence Came, Popesical-The Musical and the Off-Broadway Production of Sex, Relationships and Sometimes Love in NY.

As a director, Angela’s first play was Eating Out, which she also co-wrote and produced in LA. Since then she has won the Wildcards and Audience Favourite Award for the short play Weeing on a Stick at the 2012 Short and Sweet Festival. She worked with writer, Adele Shelley to turn this into a film. In 2015 she directed her very first Shakespeare, Romeo, and Juliet, for Sydney Classic Theatre Company and she was also Assistant Director for the immersive theatre company, Mongrel Mouth’s The Age of Entitlement and co-wrote and acted in Like Me. in 2019, she directed the comedy short, Upsold, which is currently on the festival circuit and has won numerous awards.

Angela also has her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Journalism and is in the development phase for her first feature film, Burnu, plus a stack of shorts she plans to shoot on her iPhone! In 2016, her 1 minute iPhone film, The Circle Game, was a finalist in the Mobile Film Festival in Paris, the Miniature Film Festival in Vancouver, and the Flash Film Festival in Berlin, and it just won Best SmartPhone Film at the Buddha International Film Festival in India. Since then her smartphone short films have played in many festivals around the world including MINA, the Dublin International Smartphone Film Festival, and more.

Angela Co-Founded the smartphone film festival, SF3 – the SmartFone Flick Fest, with Ali Crew in 2015 and since then they have received thousands of entries, hosted countless workshops, and inspired a new generation of filmmakers the world over, especially in their home of Australia. SF3’s Ambassadors include Phillip Noyce, Kriv Stenders, Kerry Armstrong, Stan Grant, and more. SF3 has been included in the American Express Festivals to Travel To List (alongside festivals such as Cannes and Sundance), the World’s Best Smartphone Film Festivals List, and the Australian Traveller Magazine’s Most Unique Festivals in Australia list.

As an actor, she has also shot ads for Elgas, Keystart, Queensland Bananas, and Verizon Wireless.

Megan Riakos is a dynamic filmmaker bringing a distinctive female lens to the world of genre filmmaking. Her debut feature as writer/director/producer of the thriller Crushed received strong reviews with The Australian calling it “a tense, bloody mystery thriller”, and The Hollywood Reporter labelling it “A solid debut.” Crushed completed a successful festival run before a strong limited theatrical release in Australia and acquisitions by channel 10 and Qantas. Megan’s next feature-length project was as creator and producer of Australia’s first female horror anthology Dark Whispers – Volume 1 in which she wrote and directed the wraparound segment. Dark Whispers is currently screening on SBS On Demand. Megan was also brought on to write and direct an episode of Deadhouse Dark currently streaming on Shudder, for which she was nominated for an Australian Directors’ Guild Award.

Her screenplays have also garnered acclaim. Her mystery period feature The Last Reprieve was awarded the Grand Prize in the Greater Philadelphia SIP Screenplay competition. Her political drama Victory and Defeat made the semi-finals in the Final Draft Big Break Competition and was shortlisted for the Nate Wilson Award at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Megan compliments her filmmaking with her advocacy for gender equality. She is the co-founder of the Not-For-Profit organisation Women in Film & Television (WIFT) Australia and merges these two fields of creativity and advocacy via her company Hemlock & Cedar Films, which focuses on amplifying female voices.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Media Arts & Production) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), has a Graduate Diploma in Directing at the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and has also completed the Professional Screenwriters Program at UCLA.

In their last workshop, Angela Blake and Megan Riakos taught some very useful techniques on how to utilise and shoot professional films and content on your smartphones. SF3 is now the world’s biggest smartphone film festival and co-founder and director, Angela Blake provided some very useful tips and techniques on how to shoot on your phone. Megan Riakos, an award-winning director/writer/producer has been on the SF3 judging panel since its inception and has made a swathe of incredible films. Megan guided everyone not only on how to craft an award-winning film yourself but also on what to do with it once it’s completed and how to achieve film festival success and get on the streaming networks.

SF3 is one of the most respected smartphone film festivals in the world, attracting filmmakers of all ages and levels from across the globe. All entries are shot entirely on smartphones or tablets, forging an accessible and affordable entry platform into the film industry.