Insights > Submiting Your Film With A Global On-Line Entry Form - A Cheap Solution
28 Oct 2006

Submiting Your Film With A Global On-Line Entry Form - A Cheap Solution

Among the festivals that have announced their immediate opening for submission, the Clermont Ferrant and the Tampere film festival are two - in an always increasing list of European Film Festivals, which offer a new online submission system. The new internet tools in question; are worth considering for independent and arthouse films. Unlike the traditional entry forms, the new submission systems offers multi-listing to festivals calls for entry. They prolong the registration process by services that range from access to festivals news, deadline calls, and in some case also to online distribution.

How does that all work? The principle of these online submission systems is simple. Instead of posting an online registration form to a specific festival; filmmakers and producers can now apply to a large number of festivals with just one online form. The new online entry system had been set up by festival associations, directors and producers organizations with the aim of reducing the time and the cost spent with the classic faxed/posted registration forms. The new online form system includes all the data’s that are required by a group of different film festival organizers.

On the technical angle, the system works as an internet platform or, an email box server that is placed between the festival organizers on one side, and filmmaker and producers on the other side. One of the major advantages of a submission system like that, according to the BBC website,” is that it allows the user to “create one master online entry form to use for submitting a film to many of the major US and European film festivals.”  Last but not least, these systems are generally free of charge - at least for the basic services. Sounds good, isn’t?

One will indeed save time with just a few clicks to have its movie submitted to a large list of film events. But entry fees may still need to be cleared to some of the listed festivals that propose the universal submitting form system. Here, as for other merchant sites, any click may soon prove very expensive! “Business is business”; you should read the festival rules and regulations to make sure your entry is really free of charge.

It is often thanks to the fees paid online to these festivals that the free services are repaid on most of the website with an online universal submission form.

Beside of the freebies, the company website may also propose some paid services in the form of their  “upgrade version.” For instance, paid services may allow the user; to add a press kit and a trailer on his own page. What are the other advantages of these sites? In the case of the BRIGITFEST - one of the leaders in the field, members can track their submissions, receive internet alerts on festival deadlines, and find new festivals where to submit the works.

BRIGITFEST is a free system known as “Withoutabox” that targets mainly the filmmakers from the North American territory. The company set this product “to serve as a network for independent filmmakers and their films - to directly access film festivals, film buyers, and film audiences throughout the world and to manage those relationships and transactions from a central console.”

Because the New submission systems are the result of agreements between several bodies, which activities may extend to advertising with third parts, it is essential to read carefully the Terms and Conditions of Use of the websites, which provide such online services.

In Europe, the system is powered by two main institutions: the French association "Sauve qui peut le Court Metrage" – the organizer of the Clermont Ferrant Film Festival, and ReelPort, which was generated as a joint submission platform for European film festivals such as Oberhausen, Göteborg,Tampere and some thirteen partner festivals all over Europe.

ReelPort enables filmmakers to upload their data and their film file on the ReelPort server. The festivals on the other side can download these film files into their own databases. The film file can be downloaded in preview quality, but ReelPort t also offers the possibility to host the film file in screening quality. Filmmakers have to register to open an account where the film data and their personal data are stored. All this makes the film promotional process much easier.


View the demo of the system at WITHOUTABOX (need Flash player)

REELPORT offers three main sections from the home page - Filmmakers Section: to Submit films to major European film festivals. - Buyers Section: to do film search in a database of some thousand, to View films in streaming quality and learn about the price. - Right Owners Section: to promote and send films to digital cinema distributors.