The digital age has made submitting to and reviewing for film festivals much simpler and streamlined. In the past filmmakers had to mail physical copies (reels, tapes, DVDs, promotion packets, bios, etc.) but thanks to services like Withoutabox and Filmfreeway filmmakers can upload fairly high resolution projects to servers or link through via Vimeo or YouTube (not as common). Reviewers then have access to screen and rate films online making the whole process much more efficient. There is some controversy in the filmmaking community about Withoutabox’s increased fee cost, licensing agreements and the corporatization of indie film because of their connections to Amazon and IMDb so the addition of Filmfreeway was a breath of fresh air in terms of ending Withoutabox’s monopoly on internet festival submission.
I’ve volunteered to screen documentary content for the Breckenridge Film Festival and it has been really interesting to compare Withoutabox to Filmfreeway as well as to see new and often compelling content. I don’t want to give too much away but I intend to come back to this post later and update it with my thoughts on this comparison.
If you are an independent filmmaker looking to submit on a budget here are a couple of resources.