Our frequently asked questions.
These are the bulk of the questions we received last year. Feel free to contact us if you have a question not listed and help us make this FAQ better.
Question: Can I submit a film on Vimeo or using the Film Freeway or Withoutabox online screeners?
Yes! In fact we ONLY accept screener’s via Vimeo, YouTube, Film Freeway or Withoutabox.
**WE NO LONGER ACCEPT PHYSICAL SUBMISSIONS FOR SCREENING PURPOSES**
Standalone Vimeo and YouTube links, password protected or not work fine. Just be sure to include your submission number with the link you send us.
Question: What do you look for in a film?
Originality. Unique vision, something interesting to say. We’d rather see an interesting film that is engaging, unique and moving, but looks like it was shot on a camcorder over a slick looking, but otherwise boring film. Ideally, we’ll get the best of both worlds in your film, but we won’t turn it away simply because you didn’t have an amazing set designer.
Question: What are my chances of getting in?
Actually, I’d say pretty good. We have a robust “Honorable Mentions” category, as we really do want to honor film makers and their commitment to taking risks and putting themselves out there. Having said that, we are very discerning as well, and we aren’t out to just program any old thing. We take all official selections very seriously, including the Honorable Mentions. If you are selected, it’s because we believe you have something worth seeing, even if it’s just a clip. Most films won’t qualify. We make a lot of room for you though, and we want to reward your hard work as often as we can, while still maintaining our integrity as programmers.
Question: We want a fee waiver, can we have one?
For the most part, no. In the most extraordinary of circumstances, we may grant a waiver. To put this in perspective, we received around 100 requests for fee waivers last season and all were denied.
Question: Do you prefer one type of project over another?
No. Web series, TV show, feature film, animated short, experimental dance piece, bring us your art, your voice, your vision. Respect us as an audience and we’ll treat your project with as much honor and respect as our budget will allow.
Question: What is your screening process?
At least two people watch every film in it’s entirety. Based on their notes, we will then take the top picks and re-screen them a third time. A simple majority vote decides which proceed to final deliberations, and then ultimately, to the festival.
Question: When do you notify filmmakers of their judging status?
We try to notify filmmakers on a rolling basis. If your film is not selected for inclusion in this year’s festival, you will receive a written notice along with a digital communication.
Please understand that we are serious about our commitment to honoring the best in independent film and we will only honor the best of the best. And yet, at the end of the day, it really boils down to the taste of the people screening the films.
Sometimes earnest people overlook amazing things…we are earnest, but not infallible. Even if we don’t acknowledge your film, we definitely took the time to watch it and give it a fair shake.
Question: Do you provide travel / lodging / accommodations to the selected film makers?
Nope. Well, maybe. But, as a general rule, no.
Have another question? Please feel free to contact us.