August 18, 2023
Films shot using the 3D world-building tool Mona will compete in what is being billed as “the world’s first metaverse short film festival.” Running September 26-29, the Mona Shorts Fest will take place in the immersive environment app that CEO Justin Melillo has coined “the Monaverse.” “With an entire film studio at your fingertips through Mona’s SDK and in-world experience, imagine what story you could tell,” the festival’s website suggests. Last summer, the company announced more than $14 million in Series A funds after “thousands of creators” used the platform to build experiences for Web3.
Built “by creators, for creators,” Mona makes 3D tools available at no cost to builders to create browser-based multiplayer worlds. “We’re dedicated to creating an open metaverse that does not require a purchase to enter or use,” Melillo wrote in his first blog post, outlining a democratic metaverse that “allows creators to develop their art freely and tap into new revenue streams without facing financial limitations.”
Cut to summer 2023, and the Mona team is counting down the days to the inaugural Mona Shorts Fest, which will award prizes of $3,000 for two- to five-minute digital shorts in each of the categories: Sci-fi, Anime, Comedy, Experimental, and New Mona Space Design. Best in class for VFX, Sound, Leading Avatar and Supporting Avatar will also be honored.
There is no submission fee. Competition details are available on the website, as is a schedule of workshops leading up to the fest, which VentureBeat says “will break new ground with the Web3 aspect.”
“Mona enables both beginners and experts to build breathtaking worlds effortlessly,” writes Innovation & Tech Today. Third-party apps interoperable with the Mona platform include Blender, Unity, Unreal Engine, Maya, Cinema 4D and more.
Melillo co-founded Mona in 2021 after working as a 3D artist and creative technologist for more than 12 years “with world-class teams and clients such as Magic Leap, DreamWorks Animation, Drake, Charli XCX, Sia, Lizzo, and Maroon 5,” per his bio.
VentureBeat reports the Mona film program “opens new perspectives and support for indie films and beyond.”
The platform has also set up an NFT marketplace. Among the things you can buy there includes a virtual gallery in which to display your virtual art. From “landscapes and architectural marvels to interactive characters and dynamic quests, Mona offers a vast array of customizable assets and intuitive features,” writes Innovation & Tech.