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Hooman Khalili's 'Olive' Filmed On Smartphone


Okay, it's that time of year when movie studios trot out their best films, hoping for an Oscar nomination. And that's our last word in business today. It goes to a filmmaker who's looking to catch the Academy's eye: Hooman Khalili. His film "Olive" opens on Friday.

"Olive" is about a little girl who transforms the lives of three people without speaking a word.


INSKEEP: Now, what's unusual about this movie is the way it was filmed: on a smartphone, the Nokia N8. It is the first feature film shot entirely on a phone to get a theatrical release, and getting there wasn't easy. The N8 phone has a high-resolution camera, but Khalili told the Los Angeles Times he had to hack the phone in order to disable its auto-focus.

The filmmaker at one point affixed the phone to a remote-control helicopter to get an overhead shot. He had his own drone. Despite the low-cost camera, then, the movie cost half a million dollars to produce. Mr. Khalili had hoped for funding from Nokia, but didn't get any. He did reportedly get financing from a former Facebook executive, and so "Olive" will play for one week at a theater in Los Angeles.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.