How to identify fake film festivals?
Recently there are a number of film festival submission platforms that are coming to the surface. It is great for film festival hosts and independent filmmakers. Platforms like Filmfreeway, WFCN, Festhome, etc are being a bridge between both parties. But like they say, “every mirror has a dark side too” — film festivals are no an exception either.
What’s the matter?
Due to the easy interface these film submission platforms are providing, thousands of film festivals are signing up on their submission platform. Every day at least 5 new festivals are launching and every one of them is thriving on the platforms.
Filmmakers are getting recognition, submitting their films to at least 3 festivals at once; film festivals are getting bigger and better. It is a total win-win situation here. But there are a few chiselers who are scamming their way by creating fake film festivals. Fortunately, there is an easy way to identify these fraudsters. The method is:
1. Be careful with film festivals, aging less than 3 years
60% of film festivals currently close their doors after only three years. The fact that submitting submissions is now so straightforward does not ensure that a festival will continue to exist in the long run. Running a film festival is a significant job. Administratively, scouting and managing volunteers, venue preparation, sponsors, and so on are some of the main challenges that a festival faces every year, and few people have the willpower or fortitude to manage and handle this. This is why we recommend festivals with a minimum of 3 years of running time.
2. festival website checking is a must
Every small or top film festival, from Cannes to Tokyo Short Film Fest- every one has its own website. Scam festivals spend a lot of money to make their website pleasant and less suspicious. Look deeper than the eye-catching design. Examine the festival’s contact information and administrators, then cross-reference their names and LinkedIn accounts. You’ll be surprised at how much information you’ll get from this quick background check.
3. Send them an inquiry email and watch how quickly they react.
If you have to wait that long to hear back from a mid-size or tiny community film festival with an admission cost, they don’t deserve your application fee. This isn’t a priority for top-tier film festivals, but it should be more intentional for smaller film festivals. Wait for a couple of days and after that, you should not submit your film to them.
There are more factors that can help you identify a fake film festival. For example, they will ask you for an unbelievable price of money, much higher than the average market price. There will be unnecessary award categories and so on. Yes, Film submission platforms like WFCN, or Filmfreeway are always on high alert, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be a little careful.