Applause for Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s iPhone app

It’s almost time for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and I’m impressed with the iPhone app that Creative B’stro made for the festival. After being held up for approval by the App Store because of “adult content” it was released a few days later than planned.

I like it a lot. After seeing several conference apps that miss the mark, I’m really impressed by the content, the possibility of encouraging social interaction during the festival, and how it uses the iPhone interface.


As expected, you can search films and parties and add them to your schedule. In addition to adding a film to your schedule, you can email a friend an invite, vote for the film, find out venue information and watch a trailer. FAQs are listed in the Info Booth and you can scroll through the entire festival guide.

There’s also a link to Out on Screen’s photo sets on Flickr, which would make for interesting browsing while waiting in line, for friends, or for a film to start.

Encourages social interactions

VQFF is one of my favourite social environments in Vancouver. I see old friends and meet a diverse group of new folks. There’s great films, interesting programming (like bathroom burlesque, living screen installation, various artists in residence), and great parties. This app encourages social interactions in several ways.

You can bump your phone to see how compatible you are with someone else. This compatibility rating is based on how similar your film and party schedules are.   At the bottom of the results, in small print, it says:

Please note: This compatibility test is only slightly more accurate than your average horoscope. We recommend using your own judgment when it comes to gauging true compatibility–unless, of course, you’re a Gemini. In that case, you need all the help you can get.

There’ s a treasure hunt with 10 pink Xs marked on a map. I uncovered one of the treasures and want to “dig” for the other 9. It’s a fun, slightly geeky adventure that you could do by yourself, or with other people. I can imagine asking friends (and strangers) what booty they’ve found.

There’s also links to the VQFF Facebook fan page, Twitter, and Youtube accounts where there’s current content.

Uses iPhone interface well

I’ve been disappointed with some other iPhone apps that don’t have a point, or   use iPhone functionality poorly. The VQFF app gets it right.

In addition to using bump to calculate your compatibility with someone else, you can shake your phone to generate a new pickup line. The pickup lines range from cute, funny, cheesy, and mildly offensive. I also like the Urban Spoon app, where you can shake your phone to spin slot machine type wheels to find a restaurant review. Shaking my phone is more fun than pressing a button on the screen.

This app uses location aware services appropriately and effectively. There are maps to venues (with an unfortunate typo ‘3 kilometer’) and a treasure hunt.

You can flick through past festival posters like browsing album artwork with cover flow. I imagine that this is another thing to look at while killing time.

Well done VQFF and Creative B’stro on making a great iPhone app for the festival. This has got me thinking about ways that libraries could create useful, fun, and social apps for smart phones. More on that soon…