QA with short film curator Jonathan Wells

Jonathan Wells of Flux is helping to curate TED’s first-ever short film contest, with winners to be shown at TEDIndia in November. He’s been involved in choosing shorts for TED’s onstage program for a couple of years. We asked him about curating short films — and how he ended up with this job:

What qualities do you look for in a TED short film?

The best TED film is smart and beautiful and evokes a sense of wonder. We strive to find films that have all three of these qualities. The best films, like the best TEDTalks, are great ideas that are well delivered.

How did you end up being the short film guy for TED?

For 10 years I ran RESFEST, a festival I founded that toured the world. The festival was lauded for showcasing innovative short films and music videos that otherwise may not be seen.

These types of inventive films, regardless of budget or style or genre, were a perfect match for TED’s short film programming.

Tell me a little bit about Flux.

Flux is a creative studio and global creative community. As a company, we curate film/art/music/design experiences of all kinds around the world. Through our projects, events and online journal we foster a creative community that encourages collaboration.

Define a TED short film in 6 words.

A small morsel of visual inspiration — OR — A little bit of movie magic.

If you’ve got a short film that we should see, and it’s 30 secs to 3 mins long, enter our short film contest. Deadline is Oct. 12, 2009. Find details and the brief entry form >>

Every day this week on the TED Blog, we’re featuring a short film that played live at TED. Today’s is a PSA called “Amazing Jumbo Elephant Landing,” produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Amazing Jumbo Elephant Landing” screened at TED2009 in Long Beach and Palm Springs.


Enter TED’s short film contest >>