Why no one digs deeper and protect the rights of the filmmakers? Year by year thousands of independent filmmakers around the world submitting their own films online via Filmfreeway for example, spending significant amounts to get chance for screening and to get a few minute attention. Most of their films will be rejected by pre-screeners (students) or/and community volunteers" hired by festivals receiving part of the amounts of the submission fees. There are many filmmakers complaining for years on different websites even on nonfilmschools "take a look on Chris Suchorsky's article" How to Make Sure Film Festivals Actually Watch Your Movie — And Hold Them Accountable
or just simple google. Internet is blowing up by articles and forums about festival scams.
According on clear evidences based on Vimeo analytics probably just a few filmmaker act and ask the film festival programmers why their films were not watched entirely or sometimes not even a second. Filmfreeway have the ability to see when festivals are not accessing submissions,and when they do detect that, they're able to take immediate action. That what is they're stated for me. If film festival programmers would act with a sincere manner, they might be definitely insure all the filmmakers that their skilled staff (not students or G" knows Who Else" voluntarily watching all the films Christ Sake, from the beginning till the end. This is the bare minimum they should do it if they accept the submission fees from filmmakers. Filmmakers are not Milk cows. Maybe one day someone will raise his/her voice as happened during the MeToo movement.
Time is up. Independent filmmakers need advocacy.
Hi Chris, thanks for sharing your experience. Thanks for all the fellow filmmakers too for shout out their own stories. It looks nothing much really changed sinse your articles was published besides more and more filmmakers have the same bad experiences. Independent micro and extrame low budget film makers, Avant-garde filmmakers are among those who are hardly or don't make any profit at all, working solo or with a tiny crew, without producers, national film fund, etc... suport. What's happening is an ugly game and it looks endless until there's no official sunctions or movement like metoo aganst festivals. Though Vimeo and Filmfreeways must support filmmakers at least with decent analytical. Filmfreeways for example would developed a program which automatically could inform both the film festival organizers and filmmakers about the accuracy of exact view, click through, etc in the same time festival status 'rejected or accepted' has changed. Filmmakers using such platforms spending significant amount of money there films would bewatched before screened, awarded or even being rejected. Anyway wast of time and money. I just contacted to Filmfreeways because I have the same problem. Honestly, I received a very prompt and kind response. I was told they will immediately act on my side after I let them known the details. They're also mentioned their developers will look after how to implement a reliable analytics to their website. I'm still waiting for their insight analizis before I'm going to send emails to festivals. Could be nice to see a new article on nofilmschool.com on the topic.
Best of luck, J