Watch Out For Film Festival X

In the new issue of Mike White's excellent film zine Cashiers du Cinemart (#16), there is an article by local filmmaker, musician, Microcinefest organizer and former Maryland Film Festival programmer Skizz Cyzyk on advice to filmmakers about avoiding certain film fest scams called "Film Festival X Is A Scam."
"I'm not going to name the festival I'm talking about. Instead I'll refer to it as Film Festival X. Film Festival X has been around for years and has separated countless filmmakers from their money. ... Here's how Film Festival X operates. First, they search around online looking for lesser-known attention-hungry filmmakers. The perfect victims have put a lot of effort into their websites, but maybe not as much into the embedded video clips that appear on their sites. They might brag about hometown screenings or small regional festival screenings, but not screenings at major festivals like Sundance, Slamdance, SXSW, Tribeca, etc."
What happens then is Film Festival X will contact the filmmakers, compliment them in some way, and then ask for a huge entry fee to submit the film which of course they'll refund if the film doesn't get in, but don't worry, most likely, the film will get in. But are filmmakers actually getting their money's worth? Will the affiliation with this film festival actually do more to damage their reputation (and their film's) than help?

Skizz handles all these questions and is chock full o' great advice. Be sure to check it out.

Also, this issue of CdC was done as part of the Revenge of Print challenge.


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