What is Stray Cinema?

Stray Cinema is an open source film that launched in 2006. It is an experiment that combines filmmaking with online information sharing.

For each round of Stray Cinema we offer raw footage taken from a new place - the current round is taken from the feature film Beginning, Middle & End, set in Melbourne, Australia. Previous rounds have been set in London and a desert near Barcelona.

We would love you to submit a 2-6 minute segment of the film you wish to make with this footage onto this website to be included in our competition.

We challenge you to make a more interesting cut of the film than the director does.

Your film will be voted by our online community, and the top five films will debut at our screening event.

Has anything like this been done before?

Stray Cinema is unique from anything that has been done before. Not only are we are encouraging participants to remix one source of footage, but it is a complete journey. It began when we released our footage online. You then modify and bring it back to us. Finally the chosen five are navigated out of the online digital world and into the 'real world' at our screening event.

The Future Plan

Stray Cinema will be an ongoing annual event; with a yearly screening in the country the footage originates from. Previous footage has been shot in Barcelona and London, and the next round of footage is from Melbourne, Australia. Year on year we aim to increase the quality of the raw footage we use.

Why are we doing this?

Information, we think, wants to be free. If information can be said to have a memetic life, then it must be a force that desires very much to go wherever it wants. Information is spread when it is interesting, when it is important, or when there is some relevant reason to spread it.

We believe that traditionally films are created by a tight network working towards a singular vision, and the footage is only released when its owners can control how it is interpreted. The information in film has not been free.

We grow by community. A project that brings ten people on one problem will progress far beyond what those ten people could each achieve alone. This realisation gave birth to the open-source paradigm: the idea that our project will grow far beyond our expectations if we allow you to tinker with it freely.

In a world where the rules are redrawn daily, that dictate where information can and cannot go, we wanted to marry film and the open-source ethos. We wish to give everyone the opportunity to have a say over what story is told with this footage. We don't know where this idea will take us, and that's why we're excited about it.

We have more question than answers, and much of the project at hand is an experiment.