Rat race in film festival business

List of top 10 film festival submission gateways ruling the film industry today.

Rat race in film festival business

In the world of the movie business, there's a rat race that often goes unnoticed - the race within the film festival gateway industry. But before diving into it today, let's take a quick peek at how this race kicked off.


Film festivals have been around for a long time. However, the real game-changer was the Cannes Film Festival in 1946, marking the beginning of the modern film festival era. This event set the stage for filmmakers to showcase their work and paved the way for other festivals to follow suit. Fast forward to today, and we find ourselves amidst a film festival scene.


Now, why are these film festival gateways so crucial? Well, they play a vital role in the movie business. These festivals serve as platforms for filmmakers, especially independent ones, to get their films noticed. They act as a bridge between filmmakers and their audience, providing a space for unique stories and fresh perspectives to shine.
Film festivals also contribute to the growth of the film community. They bring together film professionals, from directors to screenwriters, creating a space for collaboration and networking. In the grand scheme of things, film festivals act as a catalyst for the film distribution process. They serve as a testing ground, allowing filmmakers to gauge audience reactions and fine-tune their work before taking it to a broader audience. This process is invaluable for filmmakers’ seeking insights into their craft and a chance to improve.

 

Marketing your movie and making it recognizable is not easy at all. To make the process a little easier, there are some online film submission gateways which helps you to submit your movie to the film festivals around the world, and do half the work for you.


Here is the list of top 10 film festival submission websites ruling the film industry today.


1.    FilmFreeway:
Established in 2014, FilmFreeway swiftly rose to prominence in the dynamic film festival landscape, largely owing to its innovative payment system. The platform has become a go-to choose for independent filmmakers seeking an accessible and cost-effective means of showcasing their creations. One of its standout features is the ability for filmmakers to submit their entries without incurring any charges. FilmFreeway's appeal extends beyond filmmakers; event organizers also benefit, especially those who do not impose entry fees. For these organizers, the platform provides a free and efficient solution for managing submissions, enhancing its reputation as a facilitator of seamless interactions within the film community. 


2.    WFCN :
Established in 2019, World Film Communities Networks (WFCN) has rapidly become a focal point for film festival curators and filmmakers alike. What sets WFCN apart is its innovative integration of professional networking features directly into its website. 
Filmmakers using WFCN can engage in direct conversations with festival planners, breaking down barriers and streamlining the submission process. The platform not only serves as a submission gateway but also as a virtual space where film professionals can connect, exchange ideas, and build valuable relationships. The platform's commitment to democratizing the film festival submission process has solidified its status as a key player in the contemporary film industry, providing independent filmmakers with a valuable resource to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals. 


3.    Festhome:
Festhome appeals to entrants with its capacity to handle large files (up to 20 GB). A distinctive feature is the storage of entries on their server, eliminating the need for filmmakers to upload their films repeatedly. This film submission platform is free for festival organizers, and it extends complimentary accounts to all festival staff members, streamlining event management and entry reviews.


4.    Submittable:
Originally recognized for collecting manuscript submissions, Submittable has expanded its functionality. It now includes a video contest tool, allowing festival organizers to manage video files without the hassle of downloading or saving. The user interface is designed to be intuitive, providing a convenient experience for film professionals.


5.    Shift72:
With the rise of online festivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shift72 specializes in catering to these digital and hybrid events. It incorporates a digital rights management (DRM) tool, offering control over digital rental windows, non-removable watermarks, and limitations on the number of linked devices.


6.    Shortfilmdepot:
Gaining popularity in Europe, Shortfilmdepot focuses on short films. Filmmakers incur a small service fee (up to €3), but submissions are typically fee-free. While the service fee is affordable, some filmmakers might consider other platforms offering entirely free services.


7.    Click for festivals:
Developed by Promofest, a prominent Spanish film distribution company, Click for festivals simplifies the submission process. Filmmakers can submit films by sharing links from popular file storage services like Dropbox and Vimeo, eliminating the need for separate uploads.


8.    MoviBeta:
MoviBeta provides flexibility by allowing entrants to either upload files directly or share links from external platforms like Dropbox or Hightail. However, it's worth noting that MoviBeta is not a free service for filmmakers, potentially impacting the number of submissions a festival receives.


9.    Docfilmdepot:
Catering specifically to documentary film festivals, Docfilmdepot has a strong presence in Europe, particularly in France. Filmmakers can opt to digitally upload their submissions or, for some festivals, send them in DVD format.


10.    FilmFest Platform:
    A niche platform on this list, FilmFest Platform is essential for small to mid-range festivals in France and other French-speaking countries. Its user-friendly interface, available in both French and English, caters to the unique requirements of French-language festivals, often mandating French subtitles for submissions.

 

In conclusion, the rat race in the film festival business may be intense, but it's a race worth running. These festivals are not just about movies; they're about fostering a community, providing opportunities, and giving a platform to those who dream big in the world of filmmaking. So, the next time you find yourself at a film festival, remember that you're not just witnessing a showcase of films; you're part of a journey that keeps the wheels of the movie business turning.
 


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