The Flying Robot International Film Festival will screen 20 videos shot using drones, with $10,000 in prizes at stake in six categories that including “drones for good,” “aerial sports” and “LOL.”

 And these aren’t just YouTube aerial views of someone’s backyard. In one short video titled “Running Into the Air,” filmmaker Sebastian Woeber takes viewers on an inspirational journey, imagining what he would see if he could fly over the ancient castles, pristine lakes and evergreen forests of Switzerland.

Drones give filmmakers “the ability to be your own Superman, to get up in the sky and be a bird at low cost,” said festival director Eddie Codel.

Before drones, obtaining the kind of aerial footage seen in Woeber’s three-minute film would have required hiring an expensive helicopter, Codel said. And some of the low-flying shots couldn’t be done even with a helicopter, he said.


Drones are in the news for other than cinematic reasons. Last week, for example, a wayward drone crashed into the Seattle Great Wheel. No one was hurt, but the incident forced workers to stop the giant Ferris wheel to check for damage and look for the culprit.

And there have been enough close calls between drones and commercial aircraft to prompt the Federal Aviation Administration, which forecasts 1 million drones will be purchased this holiday season, to require all drone owners to register their craft.

Meanwhile, retailers like Amazon and Walmart propose using drones as delivery aircraft.