Onwards, Upwards

A globally crowdsourced vertical video,
shot on may day during the covid-19 pandemic



In April 2020 we launched an open call around the globe for vertically-framed shots expressing people’s hopes, solidarity and experiences living under social distancing measures and coronavirus. They would become part of a crowdsourced vertical (9:16/tall-screen/portrait-format) video captured on one (extra)ordinary day in human history,

MAY DAY, 1st of May, 2020

Usually a global day of celebration, solidarity and love, May Day in 2020 was very different for populations around the planet living in the shadow of a pandemic. The title Onwards, Upwards was chosen to pose the question of what we can gain from this experience as we move onwards, visualised within a vertical frame.

Dozens of filmmakers and amateurs alike from every inhabited continent, and from South Africa to Vanuatu, Singapore to Colombia, created vertical moving images to express their response to the situation and their hopes for a post-pandemic future.

As coordinators we carefully edited the best of these into a single ‘crowdsourced' vertical video, based on non-commercial Creative Commons principles, now made free to view and download* across the globe under a Creative Commons license.

Produced in collaboration between Vertifilms Prague and the Vertical Film Festival (Australia).

Shots crowdsourced on May Day 2020 with grateful thanks to (in alphabetical order):

• & on Byte • .studios • Adam Sébire • Agnar Hanssen & Ann-Sissel Myrlund • Asa Featherstone, IV • Bara Jichova Tyson • Brigitte Gauthier • Carla Thackrah SeeTea Productions • Carrieonfilming • Chucky.Creative • Dana Wardhana & Hakim Irsyad • Elke Reinhuber • Fabrice Idieder • Gabriele Cocomello • Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka • Hakim Irsyad & Luthfi Herdiansyah • Inka • J.Richard Tyson • J.Seibert • Jacob Salzberg • Jacob Harris • Joomi Chung • Kelli S Williams • Krystof Safer • Kuesti Fraun • Lars Fossestøl • liang_clyrena • lmichellemedia • Luca Fornasiero • Meera Krishnamurthy • Michael Burnett • Mika Wiborgh • Miksang • Natalia Kovyliaeva • Natasha Sebire • Nikoleta Georgieva • Patricia Bojacá • Richard Malatinsky • Richard Tan Shanghai • Sabine Osarek • Štěpán Zálešák • Tomáš Rippl • Unto Ikkala • Veresjuli

Map data: Google / Landsat Copernicus / USGS / IBCAO ©2020
Music: "I Tried" by Moby, courtesy of mobygratis.com
All other materials are used under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license

*To download the original video files visit (opens in a new tab). The video can also be shared via our .

 Vertical Film Festival — ⇧This Way Up⇧


On Friday, 1 May 2020, what vertically-framed video shot or sequence might illustrate your current lived experience; solidarity in a time of adversity; hope for the future; or the kind of opportunities you see emerging from this crisis as we move onwards, upwards?

All shots were submitted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license and the final edit is completed under the same, except for the opening map and the music.


The project was coordinated by not-for-profit vertical film festivals in Australia and the Czech Republic which had their public screening plans for 2020 disrupted. Our aim was to engage and showcase filmmaker-artists who can’t work collaboratively during the Covid-19 pandemic, to encourage hope and solidarity for people across the world affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Founding partner:

Czech Republic

Founding partner:

Promotional partners:
(If you run non-commercial vertical video screenings and would like to show the film freely you can; but please let us know by so we can list it)


Media enquiries:

Asia-Oceania: Natasha Sebire (Australia):
Europe & Middle East: Krystof Safer (Czech Republic):
Rest of the World: Adam Sébire (marooned on a North Sea lighthouse):
Press Release: Word doc / PDF
Project Website: www.vertical.video
Teaser video: Stills: Dropbox

Photo: Heidi Tirri

Filmmaker open-call video by Adam Sébire features Strata by Moby, courtesy of https://mobygratis.com

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