It's not exactly the Sundance Film Festival, but Red Hat's new Red Hat Stories film series is setting the standard for technology marketing through film.
These aren't product pitches. Instead, they pitch "the Red Hat way" of doing things, attempting to broaden the appeal well beyond bits and bytes of operating systems and application servers.
While you'll find the films on YouTube, Red Hat doesn't want you to label them as "videos." As Red Hat's Chris Grams explains:
I use the word "film" rather than video on purpose because it better captures the spirit of what we are trying to do with digital media at Red Hat. Films are what you make when you are capturing stories. Videos are what you make when you are selling your stuff. So we aspire to film, certainly with our most strategic work, but sometimes settle for video when the project demands it.
Red Hat is careful to pitch product strategy when positioning its products: you're buying freedom and its attendant value, not simply Linux. These short films do much the same: they're surprisingly interesting to watch, and they push the audience to think beyond the simple questions "will it run?" and "how much does it cost?"
See for yourself:
Grams suggests that "the combination of a talented group of internal storytellers and a passionate group of smart employees with something to say can create some pretty effective communication." He's right. Red Hat continues to set the standard for how an open-source company--or any company--can reach and potentially inspire its audience.
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