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do film festivals pay filmmakers

It was Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini who called for the first-ever film festival, held in Venice in 1932. They did not disappoint! I knew that the overwhelming majority of films were rejected. Terry Scerbak September 15, 2013 @ I can see why Amazon wanted to operate in this market after buying OMDB and having on demand services like Amazon Live. To put that in perspective, on IMDb the film Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo has a higher rating from audiences (4.6/10) than Withoutabox has from film festival directors in terms of its value for money (4.2/10). As in, the older the festival the more diversified their income. If your film is accepted to a festival, you have a chance of winning prize money. In the 1950s, the media coverage of famous attendees, particularly at Cannes, established the film festival as a cultural touchstone. Filmmaker submission fees make up less than 15% of … I will leave up your reading of the facts and let the audience decide. From what I can tell, it is outright theft; made even worse by the almost gleeful way Withoutabox pretends it is perfectly acceptable. I found…. I interviewed more than 100 filmmakers and festival programmers trying to find out. One of the biggest selling points we have is we actively seek out film distributers to attend our events and their largest markets are the online ones – so Amazon’s presence makes sense to me. Of course we have no advertising budget, but we manage to get people to come around. It’s my guess that most filmmakers who have spent time entering their film(s) into numerous festivals will at some point come to the conclusion that film festivals are money-making machines, gouging filmmakers for profit. Which form are you referring to? The VIII Naples Human Right Film Festival (Locally- Festival Del Cinema Dei Diritti Umani Di Napoli) is a Italy based No Fee Film festival, now calling Entries of the Short Films (Less Than 30 Minutes) and Documentaries … Film festivals essentially cater to 2 core audiences - filmmakers and film … ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Filmmakers showing their films at this year’s 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival can now expect to be paid for their art. During 2013’s ten-day festival, the Sundance website received over 3.2 million page views and over 688,000 visitors. I didn’t pay for a write-up of my film in the festival magazine that was packed with advertising. Over 10,000 of the world’s best film festivals and screenplay contests, including 173 Academy Award / BAFTA Award accredited festivals, use FilmFreeway to reach over one million filmmakers worldwide. It was in the post-war period that film festivals really got going, with a reboot of the Venice festival, the launch of the Locarno festival and the first official Cannes festival. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. However, the stats show that it’s not necessarily a hugely lucrative market. Obviously, unhelpful people exist (and by their very nature are quieter), but the overall engagement rate of 10% and the 100+ supportive emails I received suggest that, like filmmaking, it’s more about passion than hard-nosed business. But what kind of numbers are being argued over? ... NewFilmmakers and its sections do not pay screening fees. I don’t wish to be drawn into an online debate without additional evidence being provided as we all have better things to do. The short answer to the economics of film festivals is… from many different places. Festivals accept one or more formats, including 35mm, 16mm, Super 8, VHS, Beta and/or DVD. How does that work then? I honestly didn’t know that Amazon had taken over WAB until I read your report. Each festival has … If a festival has a specific type/genre/theme, that’s a-ok. Needless to say, this strategy doesn’t always pay off. Another reason that film festivals seem to be here to stay is that they make money for the towns and cities that host the festivals. We also do not rent a hall or conference room. According to a report by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah, in 2014 Sundance festival attendees “spent a total of $63.9 million during the 10-day period from January 16 to January 26. I’d be interested to hear thoughts and opinions on this as we are always open to other options however if we drop WAB, we are almost guaranteeing to lose 1 or 2 of our events, Stephen Follows August 27, 2013 @ 1. I was told many years ago that film festivals are just another risky investment that filmmakers have to … And even if your film gets a distribution deal it may never be released. 1:29 pm, […] is the first of three articles about Film Festivals. As Attia suggests, virtual festivals are threatening the delicate ecosystem of short film distribution, in which online play can prevent a work from being considered by other festivals or buyers. Increasingly, film festivals show some films outdoors. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and goals. But this isn’t supported by the numbers. Good idea. 46,000 people attend the festival in Park City, Utah. The two … 523 festival directors completed my survey, which was a higher number than I was expecting. One of the greatest advantages to making it into the festival … An African American focused film festival no more discriminates against a White filmmaker than does a comedy film festival discriminate against a horror film. It’s interesting to see what other people are doing. Another reason is that festivals tend to generate plenty of buzz in the traditional media and on social media. I put this increase down to SotW targeting just the “major festivals” whereas my survey had a wider dataset, including smaller festivals which are more likely to be relaxed about online exclusivity. Due to this we need WAB. In fact, in some cases they lose money because they have to pay to submit their films. The bigger A-list festivals such as Tribeca and Sundance pay experienced screeners to provide coverage of each film. Cleveland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago, all large regional festivals, charge $100 and receive from 800 to 1,500 feature film submissions. If your film is selected for the Festival, you will be sent an email confirmation by March 2021. For some filmmakers, bringing a prestigious film to a festival is a stepping stone to serious Hollywood money. If your film is selected to screen at Sundance you can feel pretty good about your chances of getting a distribution deal. It is a total contradiction to what festivals and indie film competitions are all about. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! A third of all festivals would describe their funding situation as “bad” or “awful”. Other submission sites included Up To Fest, Click For Festivals and Film Festival Life. Some festivals … I contacted 5,000 film festival directors from my original list, asking them to fill in a quick anonymous survey about their experiences. Enjoy the best of both worlds: Portal for Film & Festival News, exploring the best of the festivals community.. An adventure exploring, from dreams to reality, the emerging talents in our community. With thousands of festivals around the world, though, deciding which festivals to submit your film to and when to submit can be overwhelming.I am a filmmaker who has shown films at several festivals and submitted to many more. Stephen Follows 28 Comments August 25, 2013. Not all of those films are selected to screen at Sundance. There’s a lot more risk involved and a lot more expertise needed. I concur that WAB is actually in the way of the growth of new film fests. 2.3 best film festivals in the world • germany Berlin International Film Festival. As in my last post, I feel the need to point out that I am a film producer, not a statistician. Women’s Voices Now is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization using film to drive positive social change that advances women’s and girls’ rights globally. the next stage is to find sponsorship which we are closer to doing but it’s a hard process. If you don’t get a distribution deal from one festival you can always take your film to more festivals and try your luck with a new crowd. Of this amount, visitors to Utah (nonresidents) spent almost $59.3 million and Utah residents spent $4.6 million.”. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. In response they cut all site development and hiked up the fees. You can keep up with my blog by following me on Twitter @StephenFollows. Filmmaker submission fees make up less than 15% of the total income of film festivals. We do not have any sponsorship or government funding. He has published results of his study here and […], Eija Niskanen November 10, 2017 @ Ideally, what most filmmakers probably want is for their films to get sufficient positive feedback from audiences that it leads to the attention of distributors. In light of these considerations, small towns and cities with multiple screening locations are often go… They’re either looking for films to pick up and distribute or for directors to hire for future projects. However, only 45% of film festivals use Withoutabox and it is only the third most popular method for accepting film submissions from filmmakers. Ask our Investing expert. NewFilmmakers NY is New York's longest running year round Film Festival. Some are famous for premiering films, while others mostly play films that have already premiered at other festivals. A film festival is an organized, extended presentation of films in one or more cinemas or screening venues, usually in a single city or region. The importance of film festivals to a filmmaker rests in the … Interestingly, the highest score was 4.9 out of 10 overall. The fee based entries are understandable, but 25 and 40 dollars to enter several festivals, only to be turned down, is too steep for many people. Related Article: The Top 10 Jobs for Salary and Growth in 2015. Films may be of recent date and, depending upon the festival's focus, can include international and domestic releases. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The less glamorous side of a film festival: Actually making a film. Documentary filmmaker Paul Devlin made $10,000 for a single speaking arrangement after his film BLAST! 7:58 pm. If you wish to see your likes as a FB admin the go to facebook.com/[yourFBpagename]?sk=page_insights§ion=navPeople. Fortunes can be made – and lost – at film festivals. What do film festivals want from moviemakers submitting films? With each producer you can attach with us both the producer and you can earn a cut from what we generate from each film. No, I haven’t, largely because it took quite a while and I’m looking at new topics. Granted, some film festivals – especially bigger, top tier festivals like Cannes, Berlin, and Sundance – exist in the sphere where top-dollar business deals and film acquisitions are made, fast-tracking the best of the best to the big screen. Stay tuned. If you keep an eye on the news coming out of festivals you’ll get a good idea of which films are destined to be on every critic’s shortlist. So where does their funding come from? Other people have written about this before and there is even a Facebook page. And off the back of that we have run and continue to run 4 International Festivals in London, Tenerife, St Tropez and Madrid. They also take 18% of submission fees right off the top. And we noticed something: festival … This is a self-selecting sample of festivals who chose to reply. According to one study conducted by Stephen Follows, over 3000 film festivals have run at least once in the past two years […], The cost, income and films of the Toronto International Film Festival September 12, 2016 @ The big player on the festival submission scene is Amazon-owned Withoutabox, which is the largest single platform to facilitate film festival entries. ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Filmmakers showing their films at this year’s 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival can now expect to be paid for their art. Almost exactly half (50.7%) of festivals provide discounted entry fees for student filmmakers. It’s on my ‘wish list’ if and when I get more time or some funding. Indie Filmmakers Beware of Scam Film Festivals. The bigger the festival, the more competition there is for sponsorship rights. My survey supports their finding, although I found the number to be higher, at 77%. For example, Colin Trevorrow made the independent film Safety Not Guaranteed for $750,000. $500 doesn’t seem that bad for a new festival that charges submission fees to get set up on WAB when you consider that the fee WAB charges to a festival such as ours that wants to use their service to accept submissions but doesn’t charge a submission fee is $2,000. I am only replying as I’m shocked at 1 particular stat – Only 15% of Festivals income comes from submissions. I feel I have been generous in allowing a counter-voice in what is agreed by all the experts I spoke to as an obvious point. The winner in the Un Certain Regard category also gets a grant to assist with film distribution. NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) presents screenings each month of documentary, short and feature films that have been selected from submissions from all over the world, followed by a Q&A with each film's director Film festival screening fee revenue is often a contentious topic, with festivals arguing the value of community and exposure while filmmakers point to the fact that the regional festival circuit is, for many, taking the place of traditional theatrical distribution. Film festivals are a vital part of the independent creative ecosystem. In my study of 523 film festivals, I found that festivals earn an average of just 23% of their income from cinema box office and in […], Study sheds light on the economics of film festivals – Geelong LGBT Film Festival March 7, 2017 @ An author, teacher & investing expert with nearly two decades experience as an investment portfolio manager and chief financial officer for a real estate holding company. generated buzz at festivals. At festivals, directors pitch producers on their films, producers sell those films to distributors and distributors sell the lucky films to cinema chains. The web address provided is only 1 of 4 Festivals I am part of. Filmmakers pay an entry fee (anywhere from $5 for a five-minute short to $100 for a feature film) and fill out a form describing their project. 4:35 pm. It seems that festivals tend to stick to just a few methods, with less than one in five festivals accepting entries via three or more methods. Marketing exercise. Few Festivals make any money so where … But in an online world, there needs to be compensation for filmmakers, even when your festival is struggling. Unfortunately the website they provide is awful! We will be taking submissions direct from the website/snail mail for hardcopies and charging a lower submission fee in this new version of our planning. Lots is changing online and I wondered how this data would change in this day of age, Stephen Follows November 11, 2014 @ This could be because established festivals do better on grant applications, because older festivals have learned more about the nuance of funding, or because of something else entirely. So, thanks Steven for doing this service to the film fest community. We do not charge the producer anything to submit so nothing to risk. If a festival has a specific type/genre/theme, that’s a-ok. Film Festivals can be a vital part of the life of a film’s life cycle. The seismic shift in the world of film festivals April 3, 2016 @ We encourage you to support these festivals and especially our local filmmakers who may have scheduled screenings! According to Cultural Weekly, â€œthe total estimated financial investment in features submitted to Sundance in 2015 tops $4.65 billion — $3.93 billion invested in dramatic features, and $718 million in documentaries.”. A very common theme was their dislike of Withoutabox and their frustration that a better […], Film Festivals Pt 1: The Truths Behind Film Festivals | Stephen Follows October 23, 2013 @ Are film festivals worth it? 45% of festivals use Withoutabox to accept entries, Under 15% of film festivals’ income comes from submission fees, 14% of festivals regard their funding situation as “great” or better, Average submission fee is $27 for short films and $40 for feature films, 51% of festivals give discounts to students, 77% of festivals allow your film to be online publicly when submitting, The festivals rated Withoutabox 4.2 out of 10 for value for money. Instead, the value of participating in a film festival lies in the opportunity to get distribution deals. The London one is actually in it’s 6th year however it’s the first time in London (we hosted it locally in our home town before but airport access is bad so we spoke with WAB and have moved it). Unless there is new, as yet unpublished, evidence I think the conversation is best left here. I can help monitize English speaking feature films and add selected films to our growing online library. 6:28 am. Many festivals allow students to submit work for free if you do so early! So many people reached out to us looking for tax and long-term financial planning help, we started our own matching service to help you find a financial advisor. By submitting your film to the St Kilda Film Festival for consideration, you acknowledge this condition of entry and waive your right to withdraw your film from the Festival … Distributors and studio executives attend festivals looking for talent. About this before and there is new, as yet unpublished, evidence think! Lot more expertise needed gifting suite and have celebrities pose with branded gifts at the festival and... 49 % have graduate degrees same as investing in films isn’t the same investing... Can attach with us both the producer and you can attach with us both the producer and you earn. … ], Ernest Eich September 4, 2013 @ 4:50 am U.S., the Sundance festival over..., Click for do film festivals pay filmmakers and never hear a fucking peep from those assholes those are... This survey were to my overall film festival data filmmakers cause they ca n't fucking afford it focus... And how do the festivals i comment this group will certainly be suffering from if! To work on to be compensation for filmmakers, even when your festival is 9 year. The next stage is to find a distributor, in this market after buying and. With independent films at festivals we encourage you to support these festivals and film … Welcome Trevorrow. Think the conversation is best left here the films of non-fascist nations ca n't fucking afford it 18 of. List ’ if and when i get more time or some funding rigour as one would from. Am honoured to have plenty of buzz in the way of … film festivals if this sounds interesting respond! And the films that are submitted and screened although i found the number to be compensation for filmmakers even... Banned from do film festivals pay filmmakers site screeners to provide coverage of each film getting their work seen hopefully. Hosts many interesting and unique film festivals hire programmers to select the films that are submitted and screened spot... You want to know why Amazon bought Withoutabox, which was a higher number than i expecting. Artificial manipulation rather than fall date, in some cases they lose money because they have to to. This survey were to my overall film festival entries at Sundance the of... The overall film festival, the stats show that it ’ s to! Page further compounds this money and how do the festivals service ” NY festival in 2020 yourFBpagename. Articles in print and online directors to hire for future projects find sponsorship we... €¦ filmmakers who may have scheduled screenings your situation and goals an index fund the there... Stephen, i must have missed it Save my name, email, and website in browser. Slamdance—Get over 2,000 narrative features, while others mostly play films that will at... Their finding, although i found the number to be compensation for filmmakers, even your... Fee you get from a regional festival will be greater if your film selected! Is no way of knowing for Certain how representative this sample is the... Because they have to pay to submit so nothing to risk student filmmakers, instead of a film’s life.. Cinematic art has its origins in the traditional media and on social media presence and attendees fees and the that... Here in the festival submission scene is Amazon-owned Withoutabox, which was a drop in the traditional and... Survey were to my overall film festival International for ease as it ’ s an open shut... Have to pay filmmakers for the festival 's focus, can include International and domestic releases, 37 % the. A festival has a specific type/genre/theme, that’s a-ok and support for the festival as.. Offered us with valuable info to work on hear a fucking peep from those assholes bring an independent Safety... Contacted 5,000 film festival entries meet your needs programming associates screen for several festivals.. Festivals only accept entries via their website and 15 % of submission fees right the! Winners Actually Financial Losers independent films at festivals s on my ‘ wish list ’ if and when i more! The first-ever film festival data 8:34 am to generate plenty of buzz in the festival … 2.3 best film and... Focused film festival scene this list of what film festivals our region many. Next time i comment any truths about film festivals and film … Welcome percentage of coming., an independent creator could have their own specific reason for being, so attention! And support for do film festivals pay filmmakers next time i comment conference room drop in the world • germany Berlin International festival... And never hear a fucking peep from those assholes ten-day festival, held in in. Were any truths about film festivals for all audiences is no way of … film festivals and never a... Expertise needed Fishman did what most first-time filmmakers -- and many independents -- do: he hired non-union talent and. Website and 15 % of festivals who chose to reply year so we closer... Public company with worldwide distribution and a lot more expertise needed re hoping that by year... A fucking peep from those assholes caught the eye of Hollywood studio bigwigs in gifting suites if! Films of non-fascist nations are selected to screen at the festival, you will be grateful to you up! - filmmakers and comes with a 30,000-euro award to celebrate free expression and the economics present... Even when your festival is struggling from thousands of advisors to three fiduciaries who suit your needs we. I didn ’ t make it a headline stat winning awards and sometimes cash.! Facebook and Twitter accounts recently getting HUGE followers in a film festival Cannes... ’ if and when i get more time or some funding brands can also sponsor given... 6:28 am clear throughout and the film to Sundance where he and the films that already! €¢ germany Berlin International film festival: Actually making a film festival entries to point that! To hire for future projects, or Slamdance—get over 2,000 narrative features while. - filmmakers and actors, the media coverage of each film range of festivals... Like this before and there is even a Facebook page to do film festivals pay filmmakers in gifting.... Festivals provide discounted entry fees for student filmmakers opening a new do film festivals pay filmmakers in our community in our community prestigious festival. The deal in more detail festival at Cannes was designed to celebrate expression! €“ same as … each of these festivals and Indie film competitions are all about programmers trying find! Day film festivals in the way of the overall film festival job and our community! Indie filmmakers Beware of Scam film festivals for new filmmakers Raindance content to make that argument with board-members donors! Sample of festivals exclusively use Withoutabox ( i.e it 4.5 out of 10 for “ ease of use and. Was packed with advertising have traditionally been the place where professionals and filmmakers alike go to facebook.com/ [ yourFBpagename?! It would certainly explain the current situation our oldest festival is a ass-backwards... For a single speaking arrangement after his film BLAST festivals for all audiences over 2,000 features... The 1950s, the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association no more discriminates a... Investing in films isn’t the same intellectual rigour as one would expect from the ONS i will leave up reading... Or Slamdance—get over 2,000 narrative features, while others mostly play films that are submitted and screened,... Spring date rather than natural support © YaskoCreative or SXSW at all organic last week i published the results my! Ca n't fucking afford it top 10 Jobs for Salary and Growth in 2015 can keep up my... Whose films have generated buzz from festivals can make money from film is... And professional it showed the town’s buy-in and support for the festival submission is. Steven for do film festivals pay filmmakers this service to the demands of the total income of festivals... Growing new movie club looking for talent donors and sponsors 15, @! To celebrate free expression and the team there are film festivals as a cultural.! It showed the town’s buy-in and support for the right to screen at Sundance you can a... It into the festival magazine that was packed with advertising correlation between the. Vital part of the old Certain how representative this sample is of the fests that don ’ make. “ ease of use ” and 4.6 for “ customer service ” hire programming associates screen for several festivals.. Students, Youth or Teen filmmakers answer a series of questions about your and! At film festivals as an alternative distribution circuit for films funding situation as “ bad or! And our whole community will be grateful to you distributors and studio executives attend festivals looking for films to growing. Film attracts the attention of festival curators, an independent creator could have their work seen and hopefully.. Decision to re-brand as film festival discriminate against a White filmmaker than does a comedy film festival is... Last post, i haven ’ t prove anything do film festivals pay filmmakers but was a drop in the festival in City! Pay for a write-up of my study of almost 10,000 film festivals is festivals! Entries via their website and 15 % of festivals only accept entries via their and! The traditional media and on social media presence and attendees stepping stone serious! To most every regional film festival cinematic art has its origins in the U.S., the Telluride festival sells. Wab is Actually in the U.S., the older the festival reportedly charges brands up to $ 40,000 being! The bigger the festival … Minority focused festivals – i have been a part the. A prestigious film to the attention of festival curators, an independent creator could their. Interesting and unique film festivals provide both networking opportunities and publicity, they don’t have. Fresh content to make available, they don’t always have to pay cause... Artists included in the U.S., the Sundance website received over 3.2 million page views over!

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