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Edinburgh Short Film Festival 2019 Now Open For Entry! International Tours & Cash Awards

Paul Bruce

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Featuring the best short films of 2019 at international film festivals

We're screening 8 nights of short film at cinemas across Edinburgh in 2019

Presenting awards and trophies for the best films selected by our jury for Best Film, & Best Animation & Best Scottish Short!

This year, we're also excited to be programming films and film partnerships for our 2019 partners:

DC Independent Film Festival (Washington)

The Adriatic Film Festival

The Sardinia Film Festival

Fastnet Film Festival

Firenze FilmCorti (Florence)

Puppet Animation Scotland

Edinburgh Printmakers

Max Length 25 minutes, international films welcomed, all genres eligible.

Open for entries online

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Why have submission fees at all for any festival????????



Its one way to make the number of applications manageable. If you make it free, you get totally swamped - an obscure local festival I know off had free entry (it was a 2 day festival screening 18 or so films) they had 2800 entries.


With the online submission things - the number of applications are really high. So a small fee insures the entry numbers are a bit managble and means you can afford to pay the staff that are going to have to sift.


Of course it can be a huge cash cow - if you don't actually watch the films submitted and staff totally with volunteers and get sponsorship. There are def plenty of scam festivals that will take your money and not even look at your application. Lots of sharp practice around festivals - there are so many festivals now (10,000 at least), getting into a festival if its not a "name" is kind of meaningless. The Doc "Official Rejection" is quite an eye opener:


But a small festival without big sponsors and a desire to pay its staff - entry fee's are a viable option.


But if I'm considering paying a fee to a festival these days, I'll be doing a lot of research into them to make sure its proper. I also give each paid entry a separate password protected vimeo link - so I can actually check they viewed it.

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I wonder how many festivals rejected....Official Rejection?


Toronto has to be running one of the biggest scams out there. I have talked to screeners, the "kids" they hire to watch the avalanche of movies, I have been told how they shut movies off after 5 mins, and count that as "viewed."


But really, who wants to see a bunch of pretentious art film crap at Toronto or Cannes? Certainly not the mainstream public, who are very far removed from the so called, "festival circuit."


It's all such a joke.



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With the bigger festivals I think its less about getting noticed from being viewed by a screener, but more about star power. Festivals want celebs in the films and to attend - that helps them sell tickets and get press coverage. If they screen stuff thats too obscure they may struggle to sell any tickets.


So they are going to prioritise films based on the names/saleability - rather then merit. So basically the same as every other form of cinema exhibition.


In terms of submissions I think the Whithoutabox and FilmFreeway - have kind of killed festivals. Well in terms of getting an obscure but brilliant indie onto a wider platform. Since they have monetised the process of submitting to festivals. They have also streamlined the process in a way that makes festivals end up with unmanageable numbers of applications. Resulting in the temptation to not do due diligence to the task.


I've never had a film of mine selected for a festival screening based on me submitting it through those channels. Although I've had a few good festival screenings of my work. But I always got in via a different way, or having an in with one of the programmers.

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Although I've had a few good festival screenings of my work. But I always got in via a different way, or having an in with one of the programmers.





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  • 3 weeks later...

All films submitted to the Edinburgh Short Film Festival are watched twice by different members of the selection committee, films are picked on merit, creativity, and on how all aspects of the film work together to create a strong work. I can't speak for how other festivals operate so can't comment on whether they all operate with integrity but
from our point of view, we not only watch all films submitted but also send acknowledgement emails to every submitter, so they are aware their entry has been received and will be assessed.

From our perspective it makes no sense not to watch the entries because our aim is to become recognised for strong programming and in order to
curate a strong programme, you need to ensure all the films submitted are assessed.

Star name doesn't necessarily assist the film but won't do it any harm, usually a star name is at least a decent actor/actress though!

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Thanks Tom, we'll be in touch soon and good luck with your film!


It will go something like this, form letter .PDF via email:


Dear Tom, Thank-you so much for your submission to the Edinburgh Short Film Festival. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of work submitted we were unable to find a place for your film in this years festival.......

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Don't call me Dick, Tom.


I keep meaning to change my signature. Although I just entered a new production, so maybe I should just leave it.


I'm trying to protect people like you from enriching film festivals that have zero desire to program your work.



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Sorry about the name. No offense intended. But I do find it a bit... overly protective? that someone who doesn't know me feels the need to protect me from potentially blowing $15. Yesterday, I spent $200 for a bit of original music for a short. I frequently pick up drink or dinner tabs for past (or potential) cast or crew. I bought a Bolex EL off of eBay for goodness sake.


I'll see your Emmy ambition & raise it.


Tom Lombard

gonna win an Oscar before I'm done

Crete, Nebraska


can't embed but... vimeo.com/user88322235

Edited by tom lombard
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