Yep, seen it, been there, done that. I'm indie filmmaker with 8 features.
Past 2 years been 'spying' on viewing from festival I had PAID to see my film (via Vimeo, or Cinando).
About 20% never even opened the link, about 60% watched a few minutes of it, the rest actually saw it.
I wrote to each one of them to show for their scam, and some gave me my submission money back. Many didn't.
It's a modern day scam: too many films out there, too good an opportunity to make money from dreaming indie directors.
I've now completely given up on submitting to festivals - other than free ones, and ones that offer waivers. Again, it is a generalized scam.
Btw, I also sent a major US festival a film one year, that got rejected. Sent it again the next year with a different title and got chosen, and won 5th highest voted public vote in the festival.